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With the help of $9.2 million in state gas tax funding, more than 30 street segments in Long Beach could reportedly get maintenance in the coming year. Signed into law in Apr. 2017, Senate Bill 1 aims at investing $54 billion into California’s roadways over the next decade. Half of that money is destined toward state highways and other assets, and the other half to local streets and infrastructure investments.
Controversial when then Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in 2017, SB-1 hiked both the gas tax and car registration fees in an effort to raise about $5 billion per year for road, highway, and bridge repairs. The City of Long Beach has reportedly already received millions from SB-1, with some of that money going to fixing local streets and other planned projects that could improve rail transport capabilities at the Port of Long Beach, purchase zero-emission buses, and perform maintenance on the Metro Blue Line
A memo outlining 32 streets in the city, all of which have poor grades on the city’s pavement condition index, could be approved by Long Beach’s council soon, and rolled into the city’s larger $34 million capital improvement program for the next fiscal year starting in October.
Long Beach reportedly has several funding streams it can use to improve streets, including Measure A, which the city allocated $15 million from this year’s budget to improve arterial streets, curbs, sidewalks, and alleys. In total, the city allocated $41.4 million for street and corridor enhancements this year using a mix of state, county, and local funds.
Among the streets that have been identified to be improved in the next year with SB-1 funding are: California Avenue, 72nd Street, Pacific Avenue, Country Club Drive, Monlaco Road, and Bixby Village Drive.
Poor road conditions have been the cause for many of the car accidents that have kept Los Angeles car accident lawyers busy for years. According to TRIP, a national non-profit transportation research group, Los Angeles has some of the worst road conditions in the nation. During their study published in 2018, the organization learned that 57% of all the major road conditions in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Anaheim were under the state’s minimum safety standards. The study discovered that drivers in the aforementioned cities spend an average of $921 more on annual car repairs due to terrible road conditions. California also has some of the highest car accident fatality rates in the U.S.
In the study, TRIP executive director Will Wilkins reportedly wrote: “Adequate funding for the state’s transportation system would allow for smoother roads, more efficient mobility, enhanced safety, and economic growth opportunities while saving California’s drivers time and money.”
And for these types of “no-fault” accidents, motorists may be able to hold their city accountable — hence the incentive to fix their streets. If you have suffered personal injury or experienced property damage due to poor road conditions, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the city. In fact, Los Angeles spent over $19 million settling personal injury and property damage cases in 2017.