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SD's Poor Roads Cost Drivers Nearly $2K a Year: Study


The San Diego region’s deteriorating and congested roads are costing drivers nearly $2,000 a year, according to a new study from a national transportation research group. 

Rough roads and the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion were the biggest contributing factors to San Diego drivers’ average $1,941 vehicle operating costs per year, according to the study released by TRIP.

TRIP is a private non-profit that researches surface transportation issues. It is sponsored by insurance companies, businesses involved in highway and transit engineering and construction, labor unions and organizations among others.

In California, some of those same interests backed Senate Bill 1, a 12-cent per gallon tax increase for road and transportation projects, which went into effect on Nov. 1, 2017. 

The study called “San Diego Transportation by the Numbers” found, in total, California drivers lose $61 billion each year as a result of driving on deficient roads.

Nearly half of that money is lost during the daily commute because of poor road design.

Only 17 percent of San Diego’s roads are in good condition and driving on bad roads costs the average San Diego driver nearly $700 in car repairs each year, the study found.

The study also found, 56 percent of California’s bridges are at least 50 years old, the eighth-highest rate in the nation. 

“In the San Diego urban area, 64 of 1,591 bridges (20 feet or longer) are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components,” the study said.

The study examined road and bridge conditions, congestion, economic development, highway safety, and transportation funding in the San Diego region and across the nation to produce a series of localized reports, TRIP said.

NBC 7 Responds submitted a Public Records Request to the city and found that last year the city of San Diego paid more than $250,000 to 540 drivers whose vehicles were damaged after hitting potholes throughout the city.

The payouts from the city ranged from $69 dollars to as much as $4,000.

A spokesperson for the city told NBC 7 Responds that drivers whose cars have been damaged can log on to the city’s Risk Management Department for information on how to file a claim.

As for the city’s efforts in addressing pockmarked streets in San Diego, the spokesperson told NBC 7 Responds that the “City has been working at a record pace to repair road throughout the city.

“Earlier this year we reached 800 miles of roads that were paved within the last three years. The goal is to reach 1,000 miles over five years which we are on pace to surpass much sooner.”

NBC 7 Responds submitted a Public Records Request to the city and found that last year the city of San Diego paid more than $250,000 to 540 drivers whose vehicles were damaged after hitting potholes throughout the city.

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