October 29, 2013
More than half of the roads in the San Diego area are in poor condition, costing the average motorist more than $800 in annual vehicle expenses, according to a study released Thursday.
The San Diego area was ranked eighth-worst in the nation in terms of bad roads, with 51 percent considered to be in poor condition, according to the study by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based transportation research group. The area placed ninth for additional costs to motorists due to bad roads, at an annual average of $843.
The San Francisco/Oakland area was ranked worse in both areas, with 74 percent of roads in bad condition, costing motorists $1,044 a year. The Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana region was second-worst, with 73 percent of roads in bad condition, costing the average motorist $1,031 a year in expenses such as vehicle deterioration and depreciation, increased maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear.
The Riverside-San Bernardino area placed 14th worst with 46 percent of roads in poor condition, and 12th worst in terms of annual cost to motorists, at $812 a year.
“The long-term preservation and maintenance of our national transportation system depends on federal investment,” said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “We can do better than the uncertainty of short-term extensions. America needs Congress to fully fund a multi-year surface transportation bill.”
Jill Ingrassia of the American Automobile Association said the rough roads “stress nerves and cost billions in unnecessary vehicle replacement, repair and fuel costs.”
“Full investment in our nation’s transportation system will reduce the financial burden on drivers and provide them with a smoother, safer and more efficient ride,” she said.
A little over two weeks ago, the city of San Diego began a $74 million effort to fix 300 miles of roadways during this fiscal year. Mayor Kevin Faulconer set a goal of repairing 1,000 miles of streets over the next five years.
According to data provided by the city, around 175 miles of roads were repaved or slurry-sealed in five of the previous seven fiscal years.
The city is also conducting its own assessment of street conditions, with results due in December.