A newly released study shows San Diego’s roads are the eighth roughest in the nation, and they cost drivers more than $800 annually.
TRIP, a transportation research nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., took a look at pavement conditions in the U.S.’s large and mid-sized cities and calculated how much the average driver spends in additional operating costs caused by deteriorated roads.
The nonprofit’s report, “Bumpy Roads Ahead,” said 51 percent of San Diego’s streets and freeways were poor and they are costing drivers an average of $843 a year.
“These roads, potholes everywhere,” said local David Alfekri, “and in the past month and a half, I’ve had about five flat tires, and it’s costly.” He said he can’t afford the extra wear and tear expenses.
According to the report, the problem may get worse because a critical source of road repair funding, the federal surface transpiration program, is set to expire at the end of the month.
But in San Diego, Mayor Kevin Faulconer recently announced his plan to fix 1,000 miles of the city’s worst streets over the next five years. For drivers, the fixes couldn’t come too soon.
“Daily, cars come through with damage from potholes, needing alignments, tire replacements or repairs and services that were pretty much caused by roads,” said Colin Smith, the owner of Top Value Tire. “And I think we’re all in the same kettle of fish; everybody’s got the same roads to drive on.”
And the consequences of bad roads extend beyond the steering wheel. Two-wheeled vehicles take just as big a hit.
Cyclist Andy Hanshaw got a flat tire Wednesday after hitting a pothole.
“The impact of an unsafe street and a surface that’s unsafe or in disrepair can be far greater on a bicyclist than a driver,” said Hanshaw. “We want safe streets, period.”
The San Francisco-Oakland area ranked No. 1 in the TRIP report, with 74 percent of its roads rated "poor." The Los Angeles area was No. 2, with 73 percent.