The Road Information Project (TRIP)'s 2005 report, Rough Ride Ahead, identifies five California metro areas — including San Jose and San Francisco-Oakland — in its list of the 10 major U.S. urban areas with the poorest pavement conditions on major roads and highways and the highest additional vehicle operating costs per driver due to poor pavement conditions. San Jose ranks #2, with 67 percent of its major roads and highways in poor condition, while San Francisco-Oakland ranks #5, at 60 percent.
These rankings are the legacy of many years of underinvestment in our transportation infrastructure. But the outlook finally is improving for Bay Area streets and roads. The transportation sales taxes approved in 2004 by voters in Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Sonoma counties all include significant investment in local streets and roads. A higher-than-expected flow of federal transportation dollars into the Bay Area allowed MTC this spring to allocate an additional $22.5 million to help reduce cities' and counties' road maintenance backlogs. And Gov. Schwarzenegger's recent announcement that his proposed budget for fiscal year 2005-06 will restore Proposition 42 funding for transportation is expected to deliver an additional $51 million for streets and roads throughout the nine-county region.
While the Bay Area's pavement repair and maintenance needs continue to outpace the available revenues, the restoration of Proposition 42, increased federal funding, and voter-approved sales taxes are major steps in the right direction. MTC's newly adopted Transportation 2030 Plan, which details the Bay Area's transportation investment strategy for the next 25 years, identifies more steps that should be taken to restore our streets and roads to like-new condition. Several bills have been introduced in the California Legislature — AB 1623 (Klehs), AB 1208 (Yee) and SB 680 (Simitian) — that would increase state funding for streets and roads in Bay Area counties. The Commission supports these bills, as well as efforts in Washington, D.C., to enact a new federal transportation program to replace the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, or TEA 21, which expired in September 2003.
For Bay Area information, see this MTC fact sheet:
For the TRIP study, click here: