CALIFORNIA CITIES AMONG THOSE WITH MOST DETERIORATED ROADS IN U.S., COSTING DRIVERS AS MUCH AS $1,000 ANNUALY. ROAD CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO DECLINE FURTHER WITHOUT ADDITIONAL FUNDING AT LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL LEVELS.Tweet
Eds.: The TRIP report contains pavement condition data and driver costs for urban areas with a population of 200,000 or greater.
Sacramento, CA – California is home to four of the top 25 large urban areas (500,000+ population) and seven of the top 25 mid-sized urban areas (200,000-500,000 population) with the highest share of roads in poor condition, according to a new report released today. Motorists in some California urban areas face some of the highest vehicle operating costs (VOC) in the nation near $1,000 in some cities - as a result of driving on rough roads. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation, and increasing needed maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear.
These findings were released today by TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. The report, “Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to make our Roads Smoother,” examines urban pavement conditions, transportation funding, travel trends and economic development. Pavement condition and vehicle operating costs for urban areas with populations of 200,000 or greater can be found in the report and appendices. The charts below detail large and mid-sized urban areas with the highest share of pavements on major locally and state-maintained roads and highways in poor condition and the highest vehicle operating costs.
In 2014 nearly one-third (32 percent) of the nation's major urban roads– Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – had pavements that were in substandard condition and provided an unacceptably rough ride to motorists, costing the average driver $523 annually. The nationwide annual cost of driving on deteriorated roads totals $112 billion.
“Once again, California roads score badly in terms of pavement condition and the cost to motorists from driving on a broken system,” said Will Kempton, executive director of Transportation California. “We simply must invest more in fixing our transportation infrastructure. Failure to act will damage our economy and significantly reduce our quality of life.”
Road conditions could get even worse in the future as the rate of vehicle travel continues to increase and local and state government find themselves unable to adequately fund road repairs.
“California continues to rank among the worst road systems in the country,” said Associated General Contractors of California CEO Tom Holsman. “Lawmakers have a solution at hand that requires real action to dig us out of the transportation hole.”
With vehicle travel growth rates returning to pre-recession levels and large truck travel anticipated to grow significantly, mounting wear and tear on the nation’s urban roads and highways is expected to increase the cost of needed highway repairs. Vehicle travel in the U.S. increased by 15 percent from 2000 to 2015. U.S. vehicle travel during the first eight months of 2016 increased 3.1 percent from the same period in 2015. Travel by large commercial trucks in the U.S. increased by 26 percent from 2000 to 2014 and is anticipated to increase by approximately 72 percent from 2015 to 2030, putting greater stress on the nation’s roadways.
“With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs and with federal surface transportation funding falling short of the amount needed to make needed improvements, road conditions are projected to get even worse,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate investment at the local, state and federal levels, our nation’s crumbling pavements will be more than just a nuisance for drivers – they’ll be a roadblock to economic growth and quality of life.”