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Measure M could help fix LA's rough roads, ranked second worst in the country

FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles County voters will decide this general election whether to improve an additional sales tax to help fund billions in transportation projects.
FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles County voters will decide this general election whether to improve an additional sales tax to help fund billions in transportation projects.
Ken Scarboro/KPCC

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A new report confirms what most drivers in Los Angeles already know: its roads are rough. But there could be a patch in Metropolitan Transportation Authority's funding proposal, Measure M.

According to the transportation research group TRIP, road conditions make L.A.'s streets the second worst in the country among urban areas. 

The deteriorating state of urban streets can be costly, too. The report estimates bumpy roads cost Los Angeles drivers up to $900 a year. 

Metro is hoping L.A. county voters will approve Measure M and agree to pay an extra half-cent sales tax to raise $120 billion over the next 40 years for transportation projects. The measure would also extend the Measure R half-cent increase indefinitely. Estimates of the annual additional cost for each individual in the county range from $25 to $65.

Much of the revenue would fund big rail projects like a subway under the Sepulveda Pass, but some would go to improving highways and could be used to fix local roads. 

About 17 percent of the funds generated by the sales tax hike would be dedicated to a dozen major highway improvements, including expansion of I-5 in the Antelope Valley and southeastern part of the county, express bus lanes on the Sepulveda Pass portion of the 405 freeway, and truck-only lanes on part of the 710 freeway.

An additional 17 percent of revenues would be returned to L.A. county's 88 cities to pay for local transportation projects, such as fixing potholes and sidewalks or improving bike and pedestrian access.

A Metro map shows major highway and transit projects that would be built if Measure M passes.
A Metro map shows major highway and transit projects that would be built if Measure M passes.
LA MTA

Measure M requires two-thirds approval from voters to pass.

Developers, construction and labor unions and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti are among the backers of Measure M, while some leaders outside the city of Los Angeles oppose the ballot measure because they say it doesn't provide enough for their communities.

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