Car Industry

Congratulations, San Francisco: Your roads are the worst in the country

It would appear all that tech-industry money isn't going to infrastructure.

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Whether it's in taxes or vehicle maintenance, we're all paying for bad roads.

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If you live in San Francisco or Oakland, California, you're riding on the worst roads in the country -- and it's costing you.

Approximately 71 percent of San Francisco and Oakland's roads are in poor condition, said a new report from TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research group based in Washington, DC. Los Angeles is in second place with 60 percent poor roads, followed by San Jose, California, and Detroit.

This is only for urban areas with more than 500,000 residents. When looking at regions with between 200,000 and 500,000 people, the "winner" is Concord, California, with 75 percent of its roads considered poor. Madison, Wisconsin grabs the silver medal here, followed by Victorville, Hesperia and Apple Valley in -- you guessed it -- California.

The study points out some depressing facts: 32 percent of the nation's major highways and streets are in poor condition. An additional 39 percent are considered mediocre or fair, and only 28 percent are considered to be in good condition.

The data set includes urban arterials, collector roads and highways. The Federal Highway Administration provided the data from its latest survey, which is based on a pavement-rating index that measures road smoothness.

TRIP's study also looked at the maintenance costs that these roads pass on to drivers. Oklahoma City's residents pay $1,025 in additional vehicle maintenance, the most of any city. San Francisco is in third place here, with an average annual maintenance cost of $978.

Funding has long proved an issue with keeping roads in good condition. The FAST Act from December 2015 adds about 15 percent to the national highway funding, but it's not enough. Nobody likes a tax hike, but the Federal Highway Administration estimates that every extra dollar spent on roads benefits drivers to the tune of $5.20 in maintenance, fuel and related costs.

(Hat tip to CityLab!)