SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Roads in the Bay Area are the worst in the state and in deteriorating condition, which is costing residents in the region thousands of dollars each year, according to a study released Wednesday.
The study published by TRIP—a national nonprofit transportation research group based in Washington, D.C.—found the increased vehicle operating costs due to the state of the roads, the cost of an accident and wasted fuel due to congestion and the increased risk of an accident amount to $2,992 for the average San Francisco-Oakland motorist annually.
The report defined San Francisco-Oakland as the “region’s municipalities and surrounding suburbs” and also provided numbers for the areas around San Jose in the South Bay — $2,745 per motorist—and around Concord in the East Bay at $1,968.
The report says 71 percent of paved roads in the San Francisco-Oakland area, 64 percent in the San Jose area and 56 percent in the Concord area are ranked as being in “poor” condition, all above the state average of 44 percent.
Residents in the San Francisco-Oakland area wasted 80 hours in congestion last year, while San Jose motorists lost 68 hours and Concord’s lost 36. Los Angeles ranked highest in the state, with motorists losing 82 hours annually.
In addition, 77 bridges in the San Francisco-Oakland area were ranked as structurally deficient, along with 98 in the San Jose area and 38 in Concord.
The study cited the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in showing fatalities in motor vehicle accidents have increased each year since 2012, with 3,623 deaths on California roadways in 2017 above an average of 3,291 between 2014-2016.
The report noted that last year’s approval by the state Legislature of Senate Bill 1, a gas tax to create $5.2 billion annually for road and other infrastructure improvements, is in danger of repeal by Proposition 6 on the November ballot.
In its conclusion, the report said, “If California is unable to maintain its current level of transportation investment, the cost to the public of deficient roads, traffic congestion, and a lack of adequate roadway safety will increase and economic development opportunities and quality of life in the Golden State will be diminished.”
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