Liberalism's bad roads


California is known for its car culture. But it turns out those wheels are rolling over some of the worst roads in the nation. A recent study ranked California 49th out of the 50 states for the quality of its pavement. New Jersey came in last. But California has the distinction of having the nation's worst roads in urban areas.


For example, there's a brutal stretch of I-10 east of Los Angeles. From high up in the cab of the truck the pavement looks like a patchwork quilt of asphalt and concrete. Every seam of every repair job can be felt in the cab. And so can every crack and pothole that repair crews have yet to touch. The trailers Park hauls clatter and clang over the crevices and bumps.

"When you hit a pothole enough times," explains Park, "it jars the front end, then the front end gets out of line, then the tires start wearing funny and then you start cracking the frame. Eventually, it just tears up equipment."

Truck drivers aren't the only ones who dodge the impacts of rough roads. In San Francisco more than 60 percent of the streets are in poor condition. You think that's bad in a car? Try it on a bike.


TRIP also calculated just how much bad roads cost individual motorists in additional maintenance. The national average is $335 a year. But "motorists in the Los Angeles urban area are paying the greatest additional vehicle operating costs of $746 per year."

One reason for the deterioration of the nation's roads is that vehicle traffic has gone up 36 percent since 1990. States can't come up with the money to deal with the stress that puts on the pavement. California, for example, is projecting a deficit in the next year and a half of more than $20 billion. But many states are strapped for cash. And if it weren't for the federal stimulus money, says Moretti, they might find their roads in even worse shape.


What is really happening is that liberal states like California and New Jersey are spending the gas tax money on other priorities. That is what liberals do. Liberals are already shorting national security spending while piling up huge deficits on Democrat boondoggles and wasteful rationed health care plans. They are shortchanging basic maintenance to pay for liberalism's priorities.


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