Study shows California’s roads need serious help

News California Governor's Office June 08, 2005
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At a street repair site in a San Jose neighborhood recently, Governor Schwarzenegger highlighted the importance of his proposal to fully fund Proposition 42 and restore $1.3 billion in transportation funding to the 2005-2006 budget.

“For too long, California has neglected its transportation needs. Just today a study was released showing that no city in this state has even 20% of its roads in good condition. This is unacceptable,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “When the people passed Proposition 42 they made clear that gasoline taxes should be spent on transportation. Now, for the first time since its passage, Proposition 42 will be fully funded, and $1.3 billion of sorely needed funding will go towards repairing our roads, expanding our highways, building better and safer bridges and creating new carpool lanes.”

Governor Schwarzenegger called attention to a nationwide study released recently that shows when it comes to pavements that are in substandard condition, California provides a rough ride. Of the top ten cities across the United States with the worst road conditions, five are in California.

The Road Information Program (TRIP), a national transportation research organization, shows that San Jose has the 2nd most poorly maintained roads in the nation and that drivers face the highest costs in the country as a result. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration, increasing the frequency of needed maintenance and increasing fuel consumption. California is home to five out of 10 of the nation’s most costly urban driving areas because of inadequately maintained roads. By fully funding Proposition 42, a total of $254 million will be distributed to cities and counties for the completion of similar, critically needed transportation maintenance projects.

The $1.3 billion would be distributed as prescribed by Proposition 42, as follows:

• $254 million to cities and counties for deferred maintenance of local roads ($127 million to cities, $127 million to counties);

• $678 million would go to the Transportation Congestion Relief Program (TCRP);

• $254 million to the State Highway Account (SHA) for State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects;

• $127 million to the Public Transportation Account, with half ($63.5 million) of those funds available for STIP projects and half ($63.5 million) for State Transit Assistance (STA).

Proposition 42, passed by the voters in 2002, requires that state sales and use taxes on the sale of motor vehicle fuel be used for public transportation, city and county street and road repairs and improvements and state highway improvements. Proposition 42 was partially suspended in the 2003-04 budget and fully suspended in the 2004-05 budget.

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