Anyone who drives regularly in Los Angeles knows that roads in the area are in pretty bad shape. But even those well acquainted with all their area potholes might be surprised to learn how poorly the city’s streets compare with those in other urban areas throughout the country.
A new report from transportation research organization TRIP ranks Los Angeles roads as the second-worst in the nation, with 60 percent of thoroughfares in the metropolitan area currently in poor condition. The report further estimates that those badly maintained roads cost drivers nearly $900 per year in additional expenses because of higher costs of maintenance and the faster deterioration of the vehicle.
That’s especially embarrassing because of Los Angeles’s warm weather climate. Even without wintertime freeze-thaw cycles wearing down roads, the city still managed to beat out colder metro areas like Boston, Milwaukee, and Detroit. Oddly enough, the report found that the nation’s worst roads can be found in the San Francisco Bay Area—another temperate California region.
The good news is that, as bad as that 60 percent number sounds, it’s actually a marked improvement over last year, when TRIP found that 73 percent of LA roads were in poor condition.
In spite of those improvements, the city’s public works budget of $150 million (along with as the budgets of other public works departments in the metro area) probably won’t be enough on its own to bring the roads up to par.
Of course, as KPCC notes, Metro’s Measure M ballot initiative could help provide much-needed funding to pay for these improvements. If passed, 17 percent of proceeds from the half-cent sales tax increase will go to LA County cities where they can be used for necessary infrastructure improvements including the repair of roads in poor condition.