Report: San Jose Roads Rank Among Worst in the Nation

San Jose’s roads are among the roughest in the nation, with more than 60 percent classified as “poor” by federal standards, according to a recently released report.

The data, compiled by car shopping application CoPilot, ranks the South Bay city’s streets the second-worst in the U.S. for large cities, doing slightly better than the San Francisco and Oakland area, which were combined into one metro region in the report.

Chicago-based CoPilot compiled data for the study from the Federal Highway Administration’s International Roughness Index, and ranked urban areas based on size and the percent of its roadway miles in need of attention.

News of the rocky roads in the nation’s 10th largest city is not lost on San Jose leaders.

City officials last year announced a nine-year plan to repave 1,490 miles of residential streets. In 2019 alone, San Jose was set to repave or repair 300 miles of roadways, many of which have only gotten emergency maintenance since 2012 due to budget shortfalls.

“A pavement maintenance program of this scale is a long time coming for San Jose,” San Jose Transportation Director John Ristow said in a statement announcing the program last year. “Our team has been preparing for two years and is excited to get these local and neighborhood streets back into the kind of condition our residents expect and deserve.”

San Jose ranks No. 2 on a national list of large urban areas with poor road infrastructure. The city has been working to improve its roads in recent years. (Image via CoPilot)

The funding for the repaving comes from the 2017 Road Repair and Accountability Act and recent ballot measures B and T, which will provide some of the $87 million the city aims to use on road improvements through 2028.

Though commutes are currently down amid the pandemic, road repairs in the coming years may come as a financial relief to drivers who find themselves making pit stops at the mechanic due to damage from potholes and other issues.

Across the country, drivers spend an extra $3 billion annually on repairs to their cars due to potholes, according to a 2016 report by AAA. San Jose drivers are no exception to that trend, Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco said in a statement last year. “For far too long our community has suffered increased expenses to their pocketbooks due to blown tires, traffic accidents, and needed alignments,” she said. ”For our poorest families, this could be mean the difference of paying for a car repair and putting food on the table.”

San Jose keeps an interactive record of the condition of local streets, ranking each “good,” “fair” or “poor,” based on the Pavement Condition Index, another measure of road conditions used by many cities. San Jose’s overall road network averages a “fair” ranking by those standards, but a 2017 report shows its streets remained among the worst overall when compared to other Santa Clara County cities.

It’s not just the Bay Area struggling with rough roads in California. Cities of every size in the state nabbed the top spots for regions with the worst roads.

California took many of the top spots for having the worst roads in large-, medium- and small-sized urban areas, according to a recent report by car shopping application CoPilot. Image courtesy of CoPilot

Among the smallest metro areas, California cities take up the first six spots on the list of cities with poorly ranked roads by federal standards.

California took many of the top spots for having the worst roads in large-, medium- and small-sized urban areas, according to a recent report by car shopping application CoPilot. Image courtesy of CoPilot

Read the full CoPilot report here. Or, to take a look at San Jose’s interactive Pavement Conditions Index map, click here.

Janice Bitters is managing editor for Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @janicebitters.


  1. but if you fix them you will…

    “Induce Traffic”

    the state of the roads is by progressive design

  2. I have noticed over the years that few things seem to cause orgasmic ecstasy among progressives as much as “policy”.

    They LOVE policy.

    “Policy” is making other people do things that they would ordinarily not do on their own.

    “Policy” is the “hidden hand”. But not the hidden hand of the market place. Rather, the hidden hand of the bureaucracy.

    If you find yourself rattling your dentures on a bumpy road,or waiting for some praying mantis in spandex shorts to clear the crosswalk, it’s “policy”. Somewhere, a bureaucrat feels good.

  3. “My son asked me what I hoped to accomplish as Governor. I told him: essentially to make life more comfortable for people, as far as government can. I think that embraces everything from developing the water resources vital to California’s growth, to getting a man to work and back fifteen minutes earlier if it can be done through a state highway program.” – Pat Brown

    What I don’t understand about these progressives is their utter lack of concern for poor people. Sure, bikes and electric cars are great if you live in Palo Alto and take Central Expressway (golf cart trail for rich people cars) and charge it under a subsidized solar panels mounted on the parking lot roof or leave it where no one will steal it. But what about all the people who have to drive 90 minutes to/from jobs that move all around the BA who need to bring equipment in a van or truck? Like the lines of bumper to bumper pickup truck traffic over Altamont Pass.

    How much material damage are you doing to these people’s cars every year, $1000s? How much a year are you over charging them for gas to pay for bike paths and light rail, $1000s?

    How much damage are you doing to their kids by adding so much commute time but not allowing anything to be built in the Bay Area?

    To save the environment?

    This just in, they are still living in a house, they are still driving their cars, just longer with a lot more stoping and starting.

  4. >How much material damage are you doing to these people’s cars every year, $1000s? How much a year are you over charging them for gas to pay for bike paths and light rail, $1000s?

    Ah but you’re not thinking of the bigger picture here! Those parts! That labor! All sales tax revenue! Now we can pat ourselves on the back and give ourselves a raise!

    I drove through Oregon in June. Amazing how nice the roads are there compared to here, especially considering they have a lot more weather stuff to deal with.

  5. I never thought I’d want out of California so bad. I was born and raised here…i have witnessed the destruction of this state, and now its to the point it is unrecognizable. Its time to go

  6. Please do the road work at night. Disturp a few people sleeping instead of thousands that comute.

  7. Most homeless advocates admit that some 70% of the local homeless population suffer from mental illness and/or substance addiction/abuse. Yet governments have spent billions on band aids or no avail. The latest one in SJ & SF is buying hotels or paying for hotel rooms for the homeless schizophrenics and drug abusers. All of that is like flushing money down the toilet until this 70% are in lockdown inpatient care and counseling. Until LPS is gutted to allow that to happen every single plan to funnel taxpayer money to connected NGO’s is worthless.

  8. Well when the state took the road fund back when Gov Regan was in office and took all the money to keep the general fund from going bankrupt we lost all of our road money and never got it back and after they just kept taking the money for the state fund and not the road and they were not suppose to use it for anything but the road surprising how the state can steal money from the gasoline tax that was only for the roads then they caused traffic congestion and no repairing of any road to get two major tax measure’s passed to fix the street and road which should been fix a long time ago with the gasoline tax money but there was none,the State and the City of San Jose should be sued for stealing money from the tax payers but they do this all the time and the tax payers fall for their lying and wasting money then get the tax payers to vote them more money WAKe UP Tax Payers you get robbed all the time from these lying, unethical, dishonest politicians and that’s is the TRUTH of why we have the worst roads and ask the state Government to deny it on TV and watch them give so much sh***. But they will be lying through their teeth because they don’t have a honest bone in any of them to tell the truth.

  9. Politicians won’t exist if all of us wake the F? up ? do something for the shake of our youngsters they just going to be do what said but don’t do what I do ?

  10. IS GETTING A ROOM N BOARD N DRUGS….4 FREE????….WHY ALL THE HOMELESS HAVE MOVED HERE?? Dang!!! And the rest of them….take whatever
    They want from our neighborhoods!!! CALIFORNIA…..YOU R SINKING INTO THE

  11. Frankie, yes they are destroying your youth with grievance indoctrination, low educational standards, un-payable pension debt, and failing infrastructure. They are doing this by design, as middle class voters are stubborn, fickle, accumulate a vested interest, whereas dependent ones are more malleable, surprisingly more profitable, and are permanently living on quicksand.

    This is what replacing critical thinking with critical theory does to a civilization.

    Get your family out while you still have something to lose.

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