You may have known it instinctively, but now you have the evidence to back it up. San Jose has the worst roads in the U.S., with 64 percent of the city’s roads in poor condition. The finding, released by TRIP: A National Transport Research Group, was commissioned by Transportation California.

The poor roads take a toll on local drivers, who end up paying $600 to $750 more on car repairs every year because of potholes, cracks, and bumps. This finding is especially timely, since voters in Santa Clara County will be asked in November whether they want to pay an additional $10 per month on car registration fees. The average cost of car repairs needed because of the state of the roads is five or six times higher than the cost of increased registration fees.

Hans Larsen of the San Jose Department of Transportation suggests that the figures aren’t as grim as the report suggests, though he admits that 18 percent of the roads in the city are in a bad state of disrepair. The worst roads, he says, are Monterey Highway, Quimby Road, Santa Teresa Boulevard, Redmond Avenue and Los Gatos/Almaden Road.

When asked about possible repairs he pointed out that fixing just those roads would cost $250 million, a significant amount for the cash strapped city. Larsen adds that the problem is simply a factor of age: “We built a massive amount of infrastructure in ‘50s, ‘60 and ‘70s. These roads are now fifty years old and need major work.” Bert Sandman of Transportation California adds: “The longer you wait, the more expensive it becomes to fix.”

The problem may not be particular to San Jose, but it is certainly a problem for California. Of the ten cities in the country with the worst roads, six are in California, with Los Angeles just barely behind San Jose with 63 percent of its roads in disrepair. San Francisco-Oakland is not far behind either, with 58 percent of its roads needing fixing.
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