South Bay Officials Push For Legislation To Fix Weather-Damaged Roads

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — South Bay lawmakers and business leaders on Monday were pushing Governor Jerry Brown for major funding to fix potholes in San Jose.

This winter has taken its toll on roads and cars all across the Bay Area, with some drivers are spending almost an additional $1,000 each year to maintain their cars. Legislators on Monday morning said they want drivers to spend less and the state to spend more.

We’ve all tried to swerve around them or attempted to avoid them altogether, but potholes and cracks in many local roadways keep getting worse.

“They are so numerous and it becomes something a slalom course for our drivers,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “This is becoming a serious safety issue. It’s costing our residents – every motorist – over $800 a year. ”

Those repair costs don’t come cheap. Across California, drivers are paying more than $53 billion in additional car repairs.

That is why local and state legislators, as well as business and labor groups, are hoping SB-1 and AB-1 will pass.

“We have 600 miles of streets in poor condition today,” said Liccardo. “That’s 23 percent of our infrastructure.”

SB-1 would raise $5.5 billion each year to improve local and state roads, trade corridors, and public transit.

It would phase in a 12-cent gas tax increase over three years, raise registration fees by $38 for gasoline-burning vehicles and require zero-emission vehicles to pay an annual $100 fee for road maintenance and repair.

“Even with the amount of money on SB-1, it will still take 10 to 12 years in terms of consistent funding to take care of all the backlog that we already have,” said State Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose).

Supporters of the proposed bill want Governor Jerry Brown to pass this by April 6th.

Critics of SB-1 say it would raise the gas tax too much and argue more attention should be focused on public transit.

More from Jackie Ward
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