Southern California Drivers Beware This 4th of July Weekend by Drew Washington
With the big 4th of July weekend coming up Southern California is expecting nearly 2.5 million drivers to hit the road. This will be the highest number of active drivers in this area since 2002. With the recovery of the economy and gas prices, this may only be the beginning.
It will be very important to be safe this weekend when driving with this mass number of cars on the road.
On the latest report released by the National Transportation Organization they talk about the the highway system in Southern California turning 60. Covered in this report are the "Challenges to Its Ability to Continue to Save Lives, Time and Money." The report went on to state that this traffic system was the most congested in the nation. This collection of freeways is said to carry 19,000 vehicles per lane mile every day, by far the most in the nation. Another more daunting fact is that they are also the second most deteriorated road structures in America
The only state with roads in worth shape belonging to Hawaii.
"Eighty-five percent of California’s urban Interstates are congested during peak travel times, the highest rate in the country," a summary of the report also says. "The state also has the highest rate of daily travel per lane mile on its interstates."
California has avoided correcting these problems for years for one simple reason, the cost. The longer they wait the more the bill keeps rising.
Had they taken steps of preventative maintenance the roads would be in better shape but this simply has not happened.
It's bad business for California to shut down roads even if the roads are bad. The cost is then shifted to the consumer in the form of damage to tires, suspension and lost revenue to goods delayed in traffic.
The rport found that the roads in this condition cost drivers "$1,031 each year in additional vehicle operating costs."
"In California there's a $59 billion, 10-year backlog of road repair and maintenance for state highways," Will Kempton, executive director of nonprofit group Transportation California, says
"The culmination of overdue infrastructure maintenance and lack of capital investment into California’s transportation infrastructure will continue to define our metropolitan cities and paint the state in a negative light among locals," says Tom Holsman, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of California. "Gridlock is at an epic high and travel in California will only increase in the coming years. It is imperative a viable solution for funding is not only met but sustained."