City Roads in Poor Condition Costing Motorists Hundreds: Study

Local drivers are paying nearly $800 a year according to a study released Thursday

By Joe Young
|  Friday, Oct 4, 2013  |  Updated 2:25 AM PDT
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A new report says San Diego has the 4th worst roads in the nation, and this is proving costly for motorists. NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda reports.

A new report says San Diego has the 4th worst roads in the nation, and this is proving costly for motorists. NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda reports.

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A new study released Thursday found that urban roads in poor condition throughout San Diego are costing drivers hundreds of dollars each year in vehicle repair costs and are some of the worse roads in the nation.

The findings were made by Washington, D.C.-based transportation research group TRIP which examined pavement conditions, transportation funding, and costs associated with driving in several populations throughout the nation, including San Diego.

In the study, TRIP found that 55 percent of San Diego's urban roads are in poor condition. Those roads are said to be costing motorists about $758 annually in additional vehicle operating costs such as fuel consumption, tire wear, and deterioration.

According to TRIP, San Diego has the fourth highest number of urban roads in poor condition among larger cities with a population of 500,000 and above.

San Diego was found to have the fifth highest annual vehicle operating costs to motorists due to poorly maintained roads.

"Our region's economy depends on adequate and reliable transportation systems,” said Jerry Sanders, former mayor and now president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, in a media release.

"Deteriorating roads and highways costs our workforce and businesses thousands of dollars in maintenance, repair costs and time, but also hurt our economy and job growth,” Sanders added.

The research group determined that in 2011 the nationwide annual cost of driving on deteriorated roads was around $80 billion and individual motorists were paying $377 on average.

Sanders and TRIP cautioned that without additional funding from government agencies at a local, state and federal level and action from lawmakers, the problem is only going to get worse.

However, some locals who spoke with NBC 7 had a different point of view.

"I personally don't think the roads are that bad," said Shannon Singler of North Park, "I think they're actually well maintained."

Interim mayor Todd Gloria said infrastructure funding throughout San Diego has increased dramatically in recent years. He said he will bring forward a $100 million infrastructure bond this winter for consideration.

TRIP estimated that through 2032, among other funding issues, the U.S. could face a $670 billion shortfall in the amount needed to make significant improvements to roadways if the current situation continues and recent cutbacks in funding remain in place.

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