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Local Transportation Funding Shortfall Would Grow by At Least $12 Billion for Pavement Repairs in Next Decade

October 10, 2018 - Sacramento — The 2018 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Report (2018 Report) released Tuesday details the devastating impact that csac logo smallProposition 6 would have on the city street and county road system. Nichols Consulting Engineers (NCE), the engineering firm that has conducted this study for the past 10 years, found that cities and counties have finally begun to arrest the historical deterioration that has occurred on the local transportation network and will be able reduce the funding shortfall by $18.4 billion over the next decade. This is because of an infusion of transportation funding created by Senate Bill 1. The passage of Prop. 6 however, would reverse that trend and actually cause the shortfall to skyrocket by at least $12 billion in the next decade, before adjusting for inflation.  

Most concerning is that Californians would feel the potential loss of funding immediately. Prop. 6 jeopardizes over $5 billion in funding annually that is accountable to taxpayers and constitutionally protected. More than 6,500 transportation projects have been identified for funding in just the first two years and are already underway including safety improvements, the repair and replacement of aging bridges, and other road improvement projects. 

Prop. 6 would accelerate the rate of deterioration of local streets and roads. The analysis conducted by NCE found that the statewide average pavement condition, measured on a scale of 0 (failed) to 100 (excellent), is a 65, which is considered “atrisk.” Some areas of the state have an average pavement condition as low as 37, squarely in the “poor” category. The ideal road score is an 85 as it is the most costeffective condition in which to maintain a road, helping maximize taxpayers’ dollars. If Prop. 6 passes, the 2018 Report warns that the average condition would drop to 57, creeping more closely to a “poor” statewide average condition. The lower the score, the more expensive the repairs become.  

While the vast majority of voters think basic road maintenance is a key to the state’s future1, it is clear that Prop. 6 would prevent municipalities from delivering this essential function of government that our residents expect. If Prop. 6 passes, nearly 30 percent of California’s local roads will fail. Conversely, if voters reject Prop. 6, nearly two-thirds of the local network will be in the “good” category.

The 2018 Report marks 10 years since the League of California Cities® and the California State Association of Counties® began releasing the biennial study to assess the condition of the state’s local transportation network. California’s local streets and roads comprise over 85 percent of roadways in the state The full assessment can be found at www.SaveCaliforniaStreets.org

“This quantitative report clearly shows that California’s roadways are unsafe and in desperate need of repair. All throughout the state, cities are filling potholes, resurfacing streets, stabilizing bridges and overpasses and making many other much needed improvements to our transportation system. Prop. 6 would eliminate existing funds to make these safety improvements and would leave our roads and bridges less safe and in even worse condition,” said Carolyn Coleman, executive director, League of California Cities.   

“California’s transportation infrastructure provides the backbone for California’s economy,” said Graham Knaus, executive director, California State Association of Counties. “Our state and national economies rely on an efficient network of roads and bridges for the safe movement of people and goods. Prop. 6 is a devastating initiative that jeopardizes funding for more than 6,500 transportation improvement projects in all 58 California counties and threatens to push California’s transportation network into crisis.” 

If voters reject Prop. 6, cities and counties will be able to reduce their funding shortfall, road conditions will stabilize, and cities and counties can lift a significant percentage of the network from a “at-risk” into “good” condition.    

The League and CSAC collaborated on the assessment along with the state’s regional transportation planning agencies. The 2018 Report surveyed California’s 58 counties and 482 cities and captured data from more than 99 percent of the state’s local streets and roads.  

Visitors to www.SaveCaliforniaStreets.org will find maps showing the average condition of local roads for every California county and city. 
Source: CSAC