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Bad Road Conditions Cost Californians $53.6 Billion Annually According to New Report

August 17, 2016
Roads and bridges that are deficient congested or lack desirable safety features cost California motorists a total of $53.6 billion statewide annually due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.
Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in California, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.
The TRIP report, “California Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout California, over one-third of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition. One-quarter of California’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And, more than 14,000 people were killed in crashes on California’s roads from 2010 to 2014.
The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco-Oakland and San Jose urban areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.
A total of 25 percent of California’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards.  Eight percent of California’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 17 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete, which means they no longer meet modern design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
Traffic crashes in California claimed the lives of 14,437 people between 2010 and 2014. The fatality rate on California’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.72 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014, nearly four times higher than the 0.70 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state. 
The efficiency and condition of California’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $2.8 trillion in goods are shipped to and from sites in California, mostly by truck. Over two-thirds of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in California are carried by trucks and another 19 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.

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