Report: Poor road conditions cost average LA-area drivers nearly $3,000 annually

- Poor road conditions in the Los Angeles area cost the average motorist about $3,000 a year due to higher vehicle costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays, according to a report released Wednesday by a national transportation group.

According to TRIP's report, 83 percent of roadways in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana urban area are in poor or mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $892 each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

"This is a problem that will not fix itself," said Michel Martinez, a Santa Ana City Council member and president of the Southern California Association of Governments. "The only real solution is to make investing in
our transportation infrastructure the urgent priority it needs to be. As a region, and as a state, we need to speak with a unified voice to ensure that this message is being heard."

The survey -- released at a news conference in downtown Los Angeles -- also finds that traffic congestion in the Los Angeles area is worsening, causing 80 hours of delay per year for the average motorist and costing each
driver $1,711 annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

To make matters worse, 8 percent of bridges in the area are structurally deficient and 23 percent are functionally obsolete, according to the Washington, D.C.-based organization. "These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and local levels," said 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."

The report found that throughout the state, 37 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition and one quarter of California's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

The state's major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And, more than 14,000 people were killed in crashes on California's roadways from 2010 to 2014.

"The TRIP report confirms what everyone in California knows: the transportation system in this state is in bad shape," said 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."

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