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PSA: California roads are a mess

Discussion in 'California' started by cpa, May 25, 2017.

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  1. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    For those of you who are considering a summer road trip to California, I thought that I would share some of the current conditions on some of the highways here. Y'all are no doubt aware that we had a v-e-r-y wet rainy season this year, with numerous locations recording in excess of 100 inches of precipitation from late November through early May.

    Highway 1 (north of San Francisco): There are a couple of closures right off US101 just north of the Golden Gate. There are a few other spots with one-way controlled traffic around Gualala and Jenner and in Mendocino County.

    Highway 1 (Central Coast): The highway is closed indefinitely south of Carmel Valley near Big Sur for bridge replacement. There is another closure further south at Ragged Point.

    Highway 49: One-way controlled traffic for slide removal about 9 miles north of Nevada City. In addition, storm clean up near the Yuba-Sierra County line may require a 20-30 minute delay.

    US50 near Pollock Pines is down to one lane in each direction because of repairs to a slip out.

    Interstate 80 near Kingvale is down to one lane for eastbound traffic--emergency repairs.

    Highway 96 (I know, not many charging locations on that road): Is closed 0900-1200 and again 1300-1600 hours weekdays near Weitchpec for storm damage.

    US101 has a number of spots north of Leggett and south of Crescent City that have one-way controlled traffic.

    Highway 120 is closed nights (1700 to 0700 the next day) west of the junction with SR49.

    Highway 147 (east shore of Lake Almanor): Daytime (0700-1900) closures from north of the junction with SR89 to the Plumas/Lassen County line.

    Highway 175: One way controlled traffic just east of Hopland off US101.

    Highway 299: Various locations east of Arcata and west of Weaverville are subject to one-way controlled traffic or 15-minute delays, depending upon time of day.

    The above conditions are expected to run through at least July 15, with some of them expected not to be complete until October or beyond.

    Ebbets Pass, Sonora Pass, Tioga Pass and the south entrance to Lassen Volcanic NP are still closed "for the winter." Estimated reopening is not known as of today. My guess is that by solstice all but Highway 89 will be open for the summer.

    Get the handy CalTrans "Quick Map" application for your smart phone to keep updated.
     
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  2. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    Thankful for the new infrastructure tax, we are going to need it!
     
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  3. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    While the weather certainly didn't help the road conditions, bad roads are endemic to California now. It's simply not a priority for the state. When we had dry weather for years, the roads were awful. Wet weather, the roads are awful. And while some would have you believe that all we needed was yet another tax to repair the roads, we already have a ton of revenue that is supposed to go to road maintneance and it never makes it to that purpose. There's no reason to believe that the latest tax will be any different.
     
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  4. slipnslider

    slipnslider Member

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    Does Tesla's nav system know about and avoid these road closures automatically?
     
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  5. slipnslider

    slipnslider Member

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    That long list of road closures suggests that a lot of it IS being used to fix our roads.
     
  6. oktane

    oktane Active Member

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    CA roads are an embarrassment. So many potholes.
     
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  7. oktane

    oktane Active Member

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    Thank you governor Brown. We already pay the highest gas tax in the country and we now should pay more? Stop wasting our money and fix our roads. To top it off, 30% of the additional gas tax plus vehicle value tax will be squandered on pet projects. Let's not forget the $100 EV tax.
     
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  8. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    Doing triage on the impassable roads and roads that are near impassable is not what most people think of when you say "fix our roads". One need only cross the CA border into another state to see the difference between fixing roads and doing the minimum possible to keep roads open.
     
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  9. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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  10. spiderbro

    spiderbro Member

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    Californians complaining about road conditions .. so spoiled :D:p
     
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  11. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Member

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    Yes Arizona's roads are MUCH better than California's. Governor Brown should FIRE the bloated management at CalTrans and hire replacements who can cut the MASSIVE CalTrans waste and inefficiencies. Ask any California resident the dramatically shorter time AND lower cost that the private contractors built our toll roads vs. CalTrans "forever" construction projects like adding lanes to the I-5 in San Clemente. No comparison... and No excuse except the CalTrans SWAMP is full of entitled overpaid crocodiles.
     
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  12. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    68% of California's road are rated poor and 52% of Arizona's are rated poor, so yes they are better, but they have issues too. Also, when we are looking at infrastructure, it is important to note that California leads the nation in renewable energy and EV charging infrastructure both of which are supported by tax dollars and pertinent to the operation of EV's on the highways in California.
     
  13. SMAlset

    SMAlset Member

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    OP thanks for the road listing. With people planning road trip vacations in California soon, hopefully people will think to check out conditions ahead of time instead of just hopping in the car and taking off for an impromptu trip. EV drivers may be more astute in this regard due to charging options. However, sure many think road construction and slow downs are the worst of potential issues during this time of year. Frankly I was surprised to hear about the landslides up near the Leggett area in May, thinking well the rain has tapered off now so probably not a concern. During rainy season we were well aware of many landslides in our area. Didn't think about latent landslide conditions in the mountains (Valley girl for a while what can I say LOL). In fact the recent Hwy 1 closures along Big Sur will impact a lot of people who wanted to visit the area this summer and by the sound of it for months to come. We've driven the Carmel/Big Sur/Hearst Castle route a few times. I did read that if you want to visit Big Sur and have $ to fly in, the San Jose Mercury News says it's an option: Big Sur: Highway 1 closed by slide, resort flies in guests. Feel for the businesses along these areas.
     
  14. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Increasing the road budget has done very little so far except get us more toll roads.
     
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  15. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    California was #1 in nearly every metric from agriculture to zoos when I was growing up. Mass migration to California from the eastern states was a way of life. The want ads in the paper could have more than 100 pages for 1 city alone with thousands of jobs listed. Aerospace pay was big money. I was making more working aerospace at age 18 than my father was making.

    Here's where we are today:

    America's Top States for Business 2016: The full list

    (How did an 18 year old make big money in aerospace? High Schools were also trade schools. We had metal shop, welding, auto shop, construction, woodworking, drafting, etc. A HS grad was fairly well qualified to make aircraft parts. We could read blueprints, use precision measuring tools, and run mills and lathes)
     
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  16. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    I did not intend my post to become an indictment of California's poorly maintained highways. That is a fact. Bureaucracy mismanagement, political misfeasance, and fiscal carelessness contribute greatly to our predicament.

    However, I do not think that it is fair to compare California's poor highway maintenance and repair to other states for several reasons.

    --California has the highest population of any state. More cars. More trucks. Especially trucks.
    --California has many more vacation destinations than most, if not all, states with its National Parks, coastline, amusement parks, resorts, and tourist areas like the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego. More tourists. More skiers. More fishers. More campers. More miles on our roads.
    --California has Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland Ports for import and export of goods. More trucks. A lot more trucks.
    --California has the second-most miles of highways of any state.
    --California experiences extreme weather over a greater area year 'round.
    --California grows anywhere from 50% to 75% (depending upon source) of our nation's fresh fruits and vegetables. These are shipped via truck from field to packing house to wholesaler or distributor. More trucks.
    --Many highways have been constructed in geographically unstable areas: Highway 1 from Ragged Point to Big Sur and again along the Peninsula south of Half Moon Bay; US101 between Leggett and Fortuna; SR299 east of Blue Lake; SR89 along the west shore of Lake Tahoe near Bliss State Park; I am sure there are others. These roads need continual work to keep them safe and open to traffic.
    --Gasoline and diesel are much cheaper in the border states. I would guess that most people will fill up in the border states than in Needles, Baker, El Centro, Yreka, Crescent City, Truckee, or South Shore if at all possible. I know that the last time that I drove an ICE on Interstate 40, gasoline in Needles was about $4.20/gallon, and at Exit 9 in Arizona (about 25 miles east) the price was about $2.95. Those small reductions in gas tax dollars can add up!
    --I have no hard evidence, but I would presume that one mile of highway work in California is going to be more expensive than the same work in most other states due to our cost of living and our business environment. And CalTrans. :eek:
     
  17. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    Great points and these too:

    1. Californians drive 1.5 times more miles per capita than the national average, so we use our roads more.
    2. California has the highest MPG average (thanks to hybrids and EV's), so we use less gas when we drive.
    Less gas used = less gas tax = less $ for highways

    I remember talking to a highway construction flagger one hot afternoon as he admired my Model X. He said, "I love your car, and it is the right way to go, but it is going to put me out of job because you don't pay any gas taxes". When the new EV tax was passed this year, I remembered what he said and thought.... yep the new taxes seem fair.
     
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  18. slipnslider

    slipnslider Member

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    Top states "for business" are often the worst states "for people" because the things that make business easy - low taxes, low pay, non union, lack of environmental protection - often make life bad.
     
  19. dmode

    dmode Member

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    This may have been true in the past, but I have driven over 30,000 miles last year on CA roads. Outside of Bay Area and Los Angeles, I found roads to be in VERY GOOD condition. I have pointed this in another thread as well. Highway 5 is in excellent shape and is constantly being maintained, so is 80, 50, 40, 10 (especially from Palm Springs to Blythe). I recently drove over to Tahoe and took the Monitor pass over to 395. Drove south in 395 all the way to San Diego via Mojave desert. I was shocked to see the amazing condition of the roads in such remote regions. I even took a break to hike Mt Whitney and the Whitney portal was freshly paved beautiful road. Same with the remote Red rock lake road off 395. I also drove all the way to Mt Shasta and found 5 to be in great condition. The other day I dropped off my dog at a place near Sacramento and was pleasantly surprised that highway 99 leading to highway 70 is paved to European standards. You can see Google street view here: Google Maps

    Most of the road closures are due to land slides. Not sure how realistically you can prevent them in a state that has massive coastlines as well mountain roads
     
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  20. oktane

    oktane Active Member

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    In the 80s CA roads were good and getting better. Now we have more people but less who contribute tax dollars. Over 50% of live births in CA are born through Medicaid (indigents).

    Let's fire Gov. Brown who believes taxing those who have jobs more is the answer to everything. Let's tax births instead of giving credits. Let's making stealing a felony again. Let's not use my money to hire attorneys for illegal aliens. Let us cut waste and use gas tax money to actually fix roads instead of building parks for indigents to play basketball instead of going to work.
     
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