The latest findings for our nation’s roads in the largest American cities was compiled this last October and Silicon Valley made the top of the list for all the wrong reasons.

Despite all the innovation, technology, and bright minds coming out of this small part of California, local and state government that governs the area still hasn’t found an efficient way to fairly tax their local motorists and use the money efficiently enough to not have roads puckered with potholes. As per Teletrac NAVMAN in an official post they put out earlier this week (Nov, 26,2018) they’ve ranked the worst and best roads in the United States with data straight from the Federal Highway Administration’s annual survey and I was surprised to see several Bay Area cities in the Top 10 for Large and mid-sized cities. According to their Tripnet’s survey, the study which Teletrac NAVMAN got their data from, San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose and surrounding cities ranked Top 1 and 2 respectively for the nation’s worst roads

Worst Maintained Roads in the United States - Infographic

Infographic created by

And here’s the link to Tripnet’s data, where they got their information from. Tripnet’s data gleans from the aforementioned FHWA survey which measures Present Serviceability Rating (PSR) and International Roughness Index (IRI.) PSR is a rating from one to five which measures just how much “service” the road delivers with five being the best. IRI measures just how rough a road is with a lower number indicating a smoother road.

Combining IRI and PSR ratings, one can extrapolate how good a road is based on how rough a road is and how comfortable one feels riding on said road.

Embed from Getty Images

For large urban areas San Francisco- Oakland, Calif takes the cake with on average 71 percent of the areas roads in poor condition. In a close second is San Jose with 64 percent. It’s hard to believe although Fresno shows up on the list, as a measure of road performance, they outperform Silicon Valley. Then again, it’s Fresno.

For mid-sized urban areas, Antioch, Concord, and Santa Rosa, all cities in the greater Bay Area have a large percentage of poor roads.

Roads are funded by the people through taxes. But, with the main funding coming from gas taxes and with people reluctant to increase gas taxes accordingly, even though California’s population continues to grow at the moment, our roads can only take so much before drastic funding is needed to bring roads to a “level of serviceability” befitting of the area.

While its true that our cars have gotten greener, as a whole California’s gas sales have been on an upward trend since cars were a thing. But, with demands on roads outpacing the rate we repair them due to factors like population increase, more cars on the road, electric vehicles not paying ANY taxes at the pump to repair roads despite use and etc. we end up with the problem before Californians, how to repair roads in areas that need it the most using outdated taxation methods.

What good are all these EV’s and hybrids if the roads we drive them on are absolute nightmares to a modern suspension?

Source: Teletrac NAVMAN


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here