Deficient, Congested Roads Cost South Bay Drivers Big Bucks

By the Numbers: $2,471

Ragged roads in the South Bay cost the average driver $2,471 a year in wear and tear, crashes and congestion-related delays. Statewide, California motorists lose a total of $53.6 billion annually. That’s according to a new report by TRIP, a national transportation group, which found that 79 percent of roads in Santa Clara County are in poor or mediocre condition. County Supervisor Dave Cortese said the report should spur lawmakers to invest in roadways. “We need to dig into our own pockets now and put more local dollars to work to repair, maintain and improve our transportation network,” he told reporters at a presser last week. “Here in Santa Clara County, we have an opportunity to do just that.” The opportunity he’s talking about comes by way of a regional half-cent sales tax on the November ballot, which would generate an estimated $6 billion to repave streets and bolster transit systems throughout the county.

TRIP Infographic-San Jose

Source: TRIP


  1. The state of California is only collecting 39.5 cents gasoline tax plus another 8+% sales tax’ the third highest in the nation. That money is supposed to go back to cities and counties for road repair not high speed rail and welfare for illegal aliens. It’s time to sue the state, not raise taxes!

  2. I can’t remember who it was the last time we touched this subject that said, “It’s no longer an issue for me, I bought a big car, with big tires, and big suspension!” Well.. I did the same. Currently I drive a 2012 Chevy Silverado. Unfortunately the conditions our roads is so horrendous, the only way to survive them is by paying extra for a vehicle that won’t be affected by them.

    And it’s cool as hell driving around in a big truck. There’s another side benefit to having such craptastic roads.. When’s the last time you saw a low rider?

  3. Ragged roads in the South Bay cost the average driver $2,471 a year in wear and tear,

    Really, guess I drive on different roads. I did get a flat tire in the last 8 years. State is like the blood thirsty bug, never ending with more taxes.

  4. The photo associated with this article highlights Alum Rock Avenue which has been a mess not due to lack of maintenance but ironically due to a mismanaged County run VTA project.

    Before voting for a tax hike, ask how well the County and VTA have managed our tax dollars. And on roads and transit…assess how wisely the funds are spent. Alum Rock Avenue Bus Rapid Transit – real value? The project kept a lot of people employed in construction, design, and planning but is it money well spent? Maybe. Or maybe not…

  5. Why should we vote to increase sales taxes YET AGAIN? VTA wants to gut its bus service under its “network 90” plan at the same time that they’re asking voters to approve yet another bump in the sales tax. Santa Clara County residents are already paying three sales taxes to VTA, a permanent 1/2 cent that was approved in 1976, plus the more recent Measures A and B, whose revenues are mostly going down the BART sinkhole. Plus, we’re paying a Vehicle Registration Fee to pay for road repairs on top of that. Yet this is not enough, they want more tax money to flush down the BART toilet while eliminating local routes.

    VTA is asking the voters for a fourth sales tax increase yet they refuse to “value engineer” their expensive projects. There is no reason that the BART extension needs to duplicate existing bus and train service between the San Jose and Santa Clara stations. And the proposed Bus Rapid Transit on El Camino could be constructed at lower cost by eliminating the dedicated center lanes and converting the curbside lanes to HOV use during peak hours.

    Money saved from cutting the “gold plating” from big capital projects could be spent on supporting the bus system, including saving routes threatened for closure under “Network 90”. Until VTA learns to use its existing resources more efficiently, vote NO on more taxes.

    This tax is being pushed by Carl Guardino and the grossly misnamed “Silicon Valley Leadership Group,” whose rich corporate members stand to benefit most from the hugely expensive BART extension. Rather than increasing sales A FOURTH TIME, maybe these rich companies need to step up and pay higher corporate tax.

    • VTA is The Golden Exhaust Pipe to The Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Golden Spigot.

  6. What happens to the $20 annual county surcharge for our car registration?
    What do electric car owners pay to use the roads?
    How about raising the homeowners’ exemption from $7000?
    Until we can comfortably handle an influx of people, there should be a moratorium on new construction. Congestion is a mess. Schools are overcrowded. There are not enough police to handle minor crimes and traffic issues. We do not have enough water and power to live comfortably. These are just a few observations.
    We are being reduced to a third world quality of life.

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