Monday, April 20, 2009
The Pot-Hole That Ate Your Car
My commute this morning was out of my ordinary hurry local scurry. Commuting 880 is not so bad as there is a car pool lane. I of course felt like the odd duck out among the steady stream of Prius drivers sporting yellow HOV stickers leading the parade of morning commute cars. Not so bad really. No complaints even with the driving habits. The complaint comes from having the ability to bust a move (not nutty speed mind you) but faster than the posted 65mph since we are talking rush hour traffic and not to point of the obvious, if this IS the only line of traffic moving then why not keep it moving?
The rub comes from driving conditions. The highways in Guatemala have fewer potholes than our local interstate. Pathetic.
So who do I bitch to ?
California has the worst road and highway pavement conditions in the nation according to The Road Information Program. Meanwhile Californians now pay the seventh-highest gas tax nationwide ( which btw I think should be even higher) 18.4 cents per gallon in federal gas tax and another 18 cents in state gas tax, plus 7.5 cents uniform state and local sales tax, plus any optional local sales taxes for transportation. Our golden state ranks next to last in transportation spending. California's $7.9 billion transportation budget comes out to only $251 per person. Only South Carolina pays less at $223 per person. Source: San Jose Mercury-News. Urban roads in Los Angeles are the third-worst in the nation, with 33 percent rated in "poor" condition. San Jose's rank fifth-worst with 30 percent rated "poor." San Francisco-Oakland's rank sixth-worst with 29 percent in "poor"condition. Source: Caltrans .
There is no surprise that driving on roads in disrepair accelerates vehicle deterioration and depreciation much like the mound of uneaten kid-snack lurking beneath my car seats. Triple A calculates that drivers in California’s biggest cities pay as much as $700 annually for repairs and early vehicle replacement costs. The national average is $400. I suppose the bright side is that my car is just transportation, and the only thing brighter would be accessible public transportation but I shall save that rant for a future blog post. Mean while, today was a spare the air day. Be nice to see people actually embrace the notion. Wishful thinking on my part.