To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Friday, September 12, 2014

Study: Los Angeles' bad roads cost drivers $2,500 per year


By Matthew Fleming, September 11, 2014

It’s no secret that L.A.’s roads are bad – overcrowded and kept in a constant state of disrepair that’s dangerous to both vehicle and driver.

But a study released Thursday actually quantifies just how much Angelenos should hate the roads.

The average Los Angeles driver wastes $2,500 per year in costs associated with the lousy roads, the study estimates. That number accounts for higher vehicle operating costs, accidents and congestion-related delays.

But it’s not just Angelenos who have angered the road gods. The study estimates that California motorists waste $44 billion annually in total.

“A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in more than one-third of major roads and highways in California having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist (sic) in the form of additional vehicle operating costs,” the study says.

The higher operating costs are caused by “accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional vehicle repair costs, increased fuel consumption and increased tire wear,” according to the study, which was conducted by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based private nonprofit focused on surface transportation issues.

Of the about $2,500 that Angelenos burn each year –$2,458 to be exact – TRIP estimates that Angelenos lose $1,300 annually in wasted fuel and lost opportunities. Ouch. And on top of that, the average Los Angeles driver loses 61 hours annually to congestion – which is longer than the entire “Breaking Bad” TV series.

The study also suggests that fixing the roads would reduce traffic fatalities, noting that one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes in California are related to roadway features. It says 14,878 people were killed in traffic crashes in California from 2008 to 2012, averaging 2,976 per year.

“The severity of traffic crashes could be reduced through roadway improvements, where appropriate, such as adding turn lanes, removing or shielding obstacles, adding or improving medians, widening and paving shoulders, improving intersection layout, and providing better road markings and upgrading or installing traffic signals,” notes the study.

The solution comes down to funding. The problem is that it would require an act of Congress.

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Congress can help by approving a long-term federal surface transportation program that provides adequate funding levels, based on a reliable funding source.”