Study shows bad roads, traffic jams are costing Bay Area drivers

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A new study shows just how much bad maintenance and traffic jams are costing us. (KGO-TV)

A new study shows just how much bad maintenance and traffic jams are costing Bay Area drivers.

Nonprofit transportation research group TRIP says 79 percent, or nearly 8 out of 10, major roads in San Jose can be classified as being in poor condition or worse. That's costing drivers nearly $900 a year in added costs for things like fuel, repairs, depreciation and tire wear.

It all adds up -- congestion delays, potholes and accidents. TRIP says Bay Area drivers are paying for it right out of their pockets.

Statewide, it costs well over $53 billion yearly -- nearly $2,500 per driver in San Jose.

"When you're not making so much, and you have to stop and take a day off from work to get your car repaired, it comes out of your pocket pretty good," San Jose resident Dejon Kindley said.

Roadways are deteriorating from heavy use -- 121,000 vehicles daily use the Highway 85 underpass that developed a 4 by 8-foot hole.

Two northbound lanes had to be closed for repairs during the morning commute, backing up traffic for miles.
"We've been creating jobs faster than anybody in the country. We've been growing in population very quickly. It's been hard to keep up with road construction maintenance," County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese said.

With state and federal funds limited, counties and cities are seeking new sources.

In Santa Clara County, it's a half-cent sales tax. "We are looking at making a $1.2 billion investment in road repairs and pothole fixing as a result of Measure B. If we can get voters' support for this in November, we'll see a world of improvement," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

And if commuters are hoping public transit is the best alternative, that's not always the case.

"Our buses are traveling on the same infrastructure that everybody else is on. They're in the same traffic as everyone else is in, and so it's critical to try and fix some of the problems that we have with our transportation infrastructure," VTA spokesperson Stacey Hendler Ross said.

Work continues on extending BART to San Jose and doubling the capacity of Caltrain. But those projects also need money.

Click here to view the full TRIP study.
Related Topics:
trafficbay areacommutingdrivingroad repaircaltraintransportationmass transitHighway 101San Jose
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