The sinkhole is about 8x10 ft. SFPD says Lake and 6th Ave. closed 'indefinitely'. We're talking days, not hours. pic.twitter.com/QylBILXVWp— Ryan Takeo (@RyanTakeoK5) December 3, 2014
A single, gaping pothole can result in hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repairs for a car owner, and thus Trip, a transportation group based in Washington DC, puts effort into tracking the condition of America's major highways and thoroughfares to figure out where infrastructure spending is needed the most. According to their new report, just released, San Francisco and Oakland aren't just among the worst places in the country for poor pavement conditions, we're actually number one. And the top three metro areas of 500,000 people are more with the worst roads are in car-heavy California, with LA ranking number two, and San Jose coming in a close third.
All told, the major roads of SF and Oakland were rated "71% poor," while pothole-filled Los Angeles was found to be only 60%.
As Randy Rentschler of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission tells ABC 7, this makes some sense. "The city of Oakland is an older city, San Francisco is an older city," he says. "All of these roads were built many years ago. They need to be completely repaired, in some cases replaced."
"Major roads" in this case are defined as highways, freeways, and "major arteries" like Van Ness and Sloat Boulevards.
The study found that while annual per-driver costs for road-related vehicle repairs were somewhat higher in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, San Franciscans and Oaklanders are spending an average of $978 a year fixing their cars.
The problems aren't confined just to SF and Oakland either the study looked at smaller cities too, with populations of 200,000 to 500,000, and both Concord and Antioch landed in the top five there.
And road conditions aren't just important for drivers, since cyclists can be seriously injured by potholes too. An Oakland woman won a $3.25 million judgement against the city after slamming into a pothole in the Oakland Hills in 2011.