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Statewide streets still in poor condition, including Turlock's
Turlock's roads are the only ones in the state in poor condition, according to the California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment report. - photo by Journal file photo

Poor road conditions are not unique to Turlock because no matter where you travel in the Golden State you’re bound to hit a few bumps.

To put it simply, the roads are bad according to the California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment report produced in conjunction between the California State Association of Counties, the League of California Cities, and the state’s regional transportation agencies. By using a zero to 100 Needs Assessment Scale to rate the condition of pavements, the statewide average was 66 with 54 of the state’s 58 county streets and roads at risk or in poor condition.

“Our local streets and roads serve as the backbone of California’s entire transportation system. The continual deterioration of this system not only threatens the safety of all Californians but also our economy,” said League of California Cities Executive Director Chris McKenzie. “We need to invest in our streets and roads and ensure California’s high quality of living, spark new innovation and promote sustainability for the future.”

Turlock will not be one of the towns in the state to take immediate steps towards better roads as the half-cent citywide road tax, funds of which would go towards repairing and maintaining Turlock roads, failed to achieve the two-thirds vote needed to pass on Tuesday night. Estimated to have generated $5.6 million per year, chair of the Steering Committee for Citizens for YES on Measure B  Jim Theis said he is concerned about the town’s “deteriorating transportation infrastructure.”

“It’s unfortunate that the City of Turlock roads aren’t going to get fixed,” said Theis. “The new council will have some tough decisions to make.”

The road tax was slated to have a lifespan of seven years, but included a provision that should a countywide transportation tax be approved in the future — an item that the Stanislaus Council of Governments hopes to bring back before county voters in 2016 — the City tax would in turn be terminated. Turlock City Council began discussing placing an initiative before Turlock voters after the Stanislaus County Council of Governments opted against pursuing its third attempt at a countywide transportation tax.

While local leaders have struggled with identifying the best ways in which to fix the roads in recent years the newly released report is indicative that the struggle being felt by all Californians.

 “It’s time to get serious about a more stable funding source for local streets, roads and bridges so we can begin to catch up on a backlog of work that should have been completed long ago,” said California State Association of Counties Executive Director Matt Cate.