Washington, D.C. – California’s major urban roadways are the roughest in the U.S., according to a report released by Transportation California. The road conditions cost an average driver in the state at least US$590 a year in extra vehicle operating costs.

According to the report, 35 per cent of major urban roads in California are in poor condition, as are more than 50 per cent of pavements in seven California cities with populations of 250,000 or more. Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco-Oakland top the list of the 20 urban areas across the U.S. with the highest percentage of bad roads.

“The whole system is cracking,” said Mark Watts, executive director of Transportation California. “Almost half of the urban areas with the worst road conditions are found in California. Despite our successes in increasing transportation infrastructure investment over the past few years, we are not even close to digging ourselves out of the hole that years of neglect created. With regard to road quality, our safety and maintenance program, which is funded by fuel excise levies, has been hamstrung by the erosion of both the gas tax revenue stream and buying power. As a result, the motoring public is forced to foot the bill for crummy road conditions. An increase in the gas tax would more than pay for itself in reducing out-of-pocket expenses for motorists.”

Cities with populations of 500,000 or more with the greatest share of major roads and highways with pavements in poor condition include Honolulu, New York, Newark, New Orleans, Tulsa, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Philadelphia and Detroit.

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