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Bumpy Bay Area roads cost drivers thousands

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Vehicles sit in traffic behind the metering lights at the Bay Bridge toll plaza in Oakland, Calif. on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Poor condition of roads, congestion and traffic collisions are costing Bay Area drivers thousands of a dollars each year, according to a report released on Tuesday.

TRIP, a Washington, D.C.- based nonprofit that evaluates surface transportation issues, released a report saying that the average driver in the San Francisco/Oakland area is paying an average of $2,992 a year due to sitting in traffic and wasting fuel, costs to repair vehicles because of potholes or costly repairs due to a collision.

In San Jose, drivers are paying an average of $2,745 in additional costs per year.

The report said the Bay Area received poor marks in pavement conditions, with just 6 percent of roads in good condition and 6 percent in fair condition in the San Francisco/Oakland area. The organization used pavement data from the Federal Highway Administration which they receive annually from the California Department of Transportation.

Drivers in the San Francisco-Oakland area lost an average of 80 hours due to traffic congestion last year, while drivers in San Jose spent an average of 60 hours in congestion. Los Angeles drivers spent the most time in traffic last year averaging 82 hours.

Traffic fatalities have increasingly grown in the state since 2012, according to data from the National Highway Safety Administration.

The report says three major factors contribute to traffic collisions, including driver behavior, the type of vehicle, and roadway configurations.

While roads in the state and Bay Area are not doing so well, the report points out that the state legislature passed Senate Bill 1, known as the gas tax, which provides approximately $5.2 billion annually over the next 10 years to repair state highways and help provide funding for public transportation agencies.

A ballot measure though on the November 2018 could repeal the gas tax and could cost Bay Area transit agencies like BART and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency millions in funding.

Those in favor of repealing the gas tax — Proposition 6 — say the gas tax is too high and increases the cost of living for Californians.

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