L.A. has the worst roads in the nation, and they're an embarrassment. But, worse than that, if you drive a vehicle regularly, they take money directly out of your pocket.
See also: America's Worst Roads Are in L.A.
A new report from national transportation research group TRIP says that you pay $2,458 a year for "extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor."
That's quite a toll:
The report, "California Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility," found that nearly two of every three major roads in L.A. are in poor condition.
Statewide the number of roads in a poor state is one out of three.
Californians overall pay $44 billion in extra operating coasts, lost time and fuel, and accidents, TRIP says. In L.A. road-related delays now take 61 hours a year away from each driver, according to the report.
What to do? It's all about investing in road repair and upkeep. Will Kempton, executive director of Transportation California, told us we're $8 billion a year short when it comes to repairing and maintaining our roads in California.
"We're neglecting investment in our infrastructure," he said.
Unfortunately, convincing you, the taxpayer, that it's worth paying a little bit more for this is an uphill battle, even if you'd pay less in extra taxes to fix our crappy roads than you do to drive on them. "The public believes their money is being misspent" as it is, he said.
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All folks like Kempton can do is to continue to shine a light on our crumbling asphalt. The streets are not going to fix themselves.
And here's a plus: TRIP says that for every $1 billion spent on road repair, maintenance and construction, we get 27,800 much-needed jobs.
Think about that the next time you hear about how the state is giving $330 million of your hard-earned tax dollars to one of the state's richest industries, Hollywood.