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Bad roads cost San Diego drivers $1,900 a year, study says

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SAN DIEGO — Poor road conditions in the San Diego area cost the average motorist about $1,900 a year due to higher vehicle costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays, according to a report released Thursday by a national transportation group.

According to TRIP, poor road and bridge conditions in the state cost drivers a total of $44 billion a year across the state. In San Diego, the average motorist spends 37 hours a year sitting in traffic congestion.

The report, “California Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” found that 34 percent of the state’s major urban roads and highways are in poor condition, and more than one- fourth of bridges are “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.”

In the San Diego area, 57 percent of major roads are in poor condition, and 28 percent are considered mediocre, according to the report.

The poor conditions cost San Diego motorists $1,886 a year, including costs such as vehicle repairs and lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays. The report also found that delays due to traffic congestion cost the average motorist $774 annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

Jerry Sanders, the CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said insufficient and deteriorating transportation systems put a strain on the local economy.

“The time and money lost due to these conditions costs our workforce and businesses thousands of dollars each year,” Sanders said. “It is essential that local, state and federal funding be made available to improve these conditions. Investing in efficient and safe roadways is a sound investment in the growth and development of our local economy and jobs.”

According to the report, 14,878 people died on California roadways between 2008 and 2012. Non-interstate, rural roads had a fatality rate of 2.61 traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012 — four times higher than other roads and highways in the state.