Analysis reveals a nearly failing grade

Most California voters recognize that the state’s roads and highways are not in good shape. The most recent infrastructure report card from The American Society of Civil Engineers unfortunately supports that belief. In 2018, California roads received the grade of D. While this may not be surprising, it should be shocking that given the opportunity to put funds toward badly needed repairs, citizens instead face a possible repeal of the gas tax with Prop. 6. Voting NO is essential to allow S.B. 1 funds to go toward vital projects.

Infrastructure problems

According to the Report Card, roads earned a “D,” bridges a “C-,” and transit a “C-.” California bridges account for 13 of the top 25 most traveled structurally deficient bridges in the United States, and half the state’s bridges have exceeded their design life.

Additionally, the California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Final Report, which had previously “cautioned that without an influx of new revenues, the local street and road system would continue to deteriorate and cost taxpayers nearly twice as much to repair this vital investment in the near future.” Found the condition of California’s local streets and roads has continued to deteriorate significantly since the initial study.
“Safe and reliable transportation is critical to meet the demands of California’s growing population and maintain the state’s status as the world’s fifth largest economy. With $5 billion annually hanging in the balance, the grades could quickly decline if these investments do not come to fruition,” said John Hogan, co-chair of the ASCE’s California Infrastructure Report Card Committee.

Why the infrastructure report card should matter to you

Today, more than ever, citizens are looking for the facts on important issues. The information provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ nonpartisan, fact-based assessment of infrastructure, should underscore the need for attention and financial support to improve structurally deficient, outdated and functionally obsolete bridges, highways and transit. Further, because nearly every trip begins on a city street or county road, attention to local projects cannot be overlooked either.

Repairing crumbling infrastructure should not be a partisan issue. Research by The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation examined information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and other government agencies to find poor road conditions cause more than 42,000 deaths a year.

You can be certain that at no time prior to such accidents does anyone ask whether those involved are Democrat or Republican. Accidents can happen to any citizen at any time. We are all responsible for the wear and tear as well as the upkeep of critical infrastructure.

We can do better

If your child brought home a “D” on his or her report card, you’d likely take steps to make improvements and seek assistance as soon as possible. In the same vein, S.B. 1 (the gas tax), is the assistance failing roads, bridges and transit systems need. Voters across the Golden State need to understand what is really at stake with Prop. 6.

Solid data backs up the need for immediate attention. It’s not about scare tactics, it’s about tending to infrastructure that’s been unattended for far too long and, at some point, will completely fail without financing for fixes. With so many roads and bridges used by so many people every day, it’s simply a horrible accident waiting to happen. If something happened to you or your loved one, would you take solace in the notion that you saved a few pennies at the pump? Voting NO on Prop. 6 is more important than ever.