California motorists are hit with $53.6 billion per year in additional costs due to congested roads and deteriorating road conditions, according to a recent report by The Road Improvement Program (TRIP).
“The TRIP report confirms what everyone in California knows: the transportation system in this state is in bad shape,” says Will Kempton, executive director of Transportation California. “It is past time for our elected officials in Sacramento to step up and deal with this problem.”
The report finds that rough roads are responsible for $18.3 billion (34.14 percent) of the total, in the form of accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
Congestion-related delays account for $28 billion (52.24 percent ) and traffic crashes make up $7.3 billion (13.62 percent).
The average per driver varies across the state, but the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area holds the highest, at $2,826 per driver.
TRIP finds 37 percent of the state’s major locally and state maintained roads are in poor condition, with 42 percent being in mediocre to fair condition and 21 percent in good condition.
Major urban roads are in worse condition, with 50 percent being in poor condition, 37 percent in mediocre or fair condition and 12 percent in good condition. Rural roads are a bit better, with 22 percent in poor condition, 48 percent in mediocre or fair condition and 30 percent in good condition.
The organization reports 25 percent of California’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards, with 8 percent being structurally deficient and 17 percent considered functionally obsolete.
Total vehicle miles traveled has increased 15 percent between 2000 and 2015, from 306.6 billion miles to 354.1 billion miles
“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and local levels,” says Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate investment, California’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth and the quality of life of the state’s residents.”
TRIP periodically releases state reports such as this one. They are available at tripnet.org.