SoCal Drivers Face Worst Roads, Extra Maintenance Costs: Report

The report from a transportation research group says about 64 percent of roads in the region are in "poor condition"

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013  |  Updated 8:21 AM PDT
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Southern Californians are paying the price for driving in a region with some of the nation's roughest roads, according to a report released Thursday by the National Transportation Research Group.

Khalid Shabazz

Southern Californians are paying the price for driving in a region with some of the nation's roughest roads, according to a report released Thursday by the National Transportation Research Group.

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Southern Californians are paying the price for driving in a region with some of the nation's roughest roads, according to a report released Thursday by the National Transportation Research Group.

Full Report: TRIP Worst Roads List

The report examines pavement conditions on the country's major urban roads and its ride quality -- the degree of smoothness felt by the driver. Researchers with the transportation research organization based in Washington, D.C. estimated that more than one-quarter of the urban streets and highway in the United States provide a ride that "many drivers find unacceptable."

In the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area, 64 percent of major roads and highways are classified in "poor condition," according to the TRIP report. That makes the region No. 1 on the list of roughest roads, and contributes to an annual vehicle maintenance cost of $832, according to the report.

"Los Angeles – Long Beach – Santa Ana drivers incur the greatest annual extra vehicle operating costs due to driving on rough roads," according to the report.

The report estimates that driving on roads with poor ride quality costs the average driver $377 annually in extra vehicle operating costs.

Road data for the report was gathered from the Federal Highway Administration, to which local and state agencies submit their own information.

Four California regions rank among the top five worst areas for rough rides. The San Francisco-Oakland area ranks No. 2 on the list, San Jose is No. 3 and San Diego ranks fourth. Sacramento, Concord and Riverside-San Bernardino also rank among the top 20.

The report cites a 49-percent increase from 1990 to 2011 in travel by large commercial trucks as a contributing factor in the deterioration of the nation's roads.

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