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Contacts:
California Alliance for Jobs: John Frith, (916) 446-2259 jfrith@rebuildca.org
League of California Cities: Bismarck Obando, (916) 658-8273 bismarck@cacities.org
California State Association of Counties: Gregg Fishman, (916) 342-9508 gfishman@counties.org
Jul. 24, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

New Report Ranks 15 California Urban Areas as Having the Worst Roads in the U.S.

Poor Pavement Conditions Also Lead to High Car Maintenance and Repair Costs


Report Underscores Need for Legislature to Pass Accountable Funding Stream for Transportation During Special Legislative Session
 
SACRAMENTO -- According to a new report released today, 15 of California’s urban centers have pavement conditions that rank among the nation’s most deteriorated. The same report found that the poor condition of California’s pothole-filled roads also puts California among the states with the highest in the nation costs for car maintenance.
 
TRIP, a national transportation group based in Washington D.C., issued a report today examining pavement conditions and associated vehicle operation costs nationwide. The report, Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother, can be found here. According to TRIP, poor roads cost the average California motorist $762 per year. But in some communities, such as Los Angeles and the Bay Area, the cost of poor roads is much higher, more than $1,000 per year in vehicle maintenance costs.
 
“Sadly, this report tells us nothing new. Every California driver knows our roads are filled with potholes and in poor repair,” said Jim Earp, Executive Consultant, California Alliance for Jobs. “Year after year nothing gets done to provide adequate funding to fix our roads. Thankfully Gov. Jerry Brown has called a special session of the Legislature this year to figure out how to provide ongoing, reliable, and accountable funding for major road improvements. Our industry will be very involved in letting legislators know this is a priority.”
 
California’s poor rankings year after year underscore the need for additional funding to repair state highways and local streets and roads. California’s roadway system, whether they be freeways, major urban thoroughfares, residential streets or rural streets, is interconnected. It all must be well-maintained in order for California to thrive. Today, too much of the network is in disrepair and the longer we wait to make repairs, the worse they will be come and the more expensive to fix.
 
Governor Brown has called a special session of the Legislature to address this topic. The backlog in California is significant:
  • Estimates are that local streets and roads face an estimated shortfall of $78 billion in deferred maintenance and an annual shortfall of $7.8 billion.
  • CalTrans faces a $59 billion backlog in deferred maintenance and an annual shortfall in the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) of $5.7 billion. 
“In the Bay Area and Los Angeles the poor condition of the roads is costing drivers an extra $1000 a year in car maintenance and repairs,” said Chris McKenzie, Executive Director, League of California Cities. “Local streets and roads are the backbone of our transportation system. Cities and counties in fact maintain more than 80 percent of all the roadways within California. The special Legislative session called by Governor Brown to provide additional funding for road repairs is coming at a critical time. We need to start making a serious dent in the billions of dollars of needed repairs. City officials are looking forward to engaging with legislators when they return in August.”
 
“Every time this report is issued, California has the most number of urban centers on the list of poor roads in the nation,” said Matt Cate, Executive Director, California State Association of Counties. “The problem is tied directly to the fact that resources for road repair have been shifted and become more scarce. We need to address this problem and find additional and long term funding to begin tackling the billions of dollars in needed repairs. County supervisors are actively involved in the special legislative session this year, in the hopes that we get something done.” 
 
According to the TRIP report, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.
 
HIGHEST SHARE OF MAJOR ROADS AND HIGHWAYS WITH PAVEMENTS THAT ARE IN POOR CONDITION AND PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE (Source: TRIP Report, July 23, 2015)
 
Larger Metro Areas (500,000+ population)
 
San Francisco-Oakland
Nationwide Ranking: #1
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 74%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $1,044
 
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Orange County
Nationwide Ranking: #2
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 73%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $1,031
 
Concord
Nationwide Ranking: #3
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 62%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $924
 
San Jose
Nationwide Ranking: #8
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 53%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $844
 
San Diego
Nationwide Ranking: #9
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 51%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $843
 
Riverside/San Bernardino
Nationwide Ranking: #12
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 46%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $812
 
Sacramento
Nationwide Ranking: #20
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 42%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $767
 
Medium-Sized Metro Areas (250,000-500,000 population)
Temecula-Murrieta
Nationwide Ranking: #1
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 47%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $857
 
Antioch
Nationwide Ranking: #3
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 52%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $831
 
Santa Rosa
Nationwide Ranking: #5
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 49%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $811
 
Hemet
Nationwide Ranking: #7
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 36%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $758
 
Oxnard
Nationwide Ranking: #15
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 36%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $669
 
Victorville-Hesperia-Apple Valley
Nationwide Ranking: #16
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 32%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $664
 
Stockton
Nationwide Ranking: #18
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 34%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $657
 
Modesto
Nationwide Ranking: #19
Percent of Roads in Poor Condition: 30%
Annual Vehicle Maintenance Costs: $636

Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.
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