California Highway Patrol, that
’s how often someone in California died in a traffic collision
in 2000. There were 3,331 fatal accidents that year.
One person every two hours and 21 minutes. According to the California Highway Patrol, that’s how often someone in California died in a traffic collision in 2000. There were 3,331 fatal accidents that year.
That same year San Benito County saw 19 fatal vehicle accidents – 14 on incorporated state highways , two on unincorporated county roadways, and three on Hollister city roadways.
In Santa Clara County, 29 people lost their lives in traffic collisions in 2000. Of those, five fatal accidents were on unincorporated county roadways, 15 were on unincorporated state highways, one was on a Morgan Hill city street and one was on a Gilroy city street. The remainder were on other cities’ streets throughout the county.
It’s worth noting that San Benito County had a population of 54,500 people and 606 miles of roads in 2000, compared to Santa Clara County’s population of 1.7 million people and 4,716 miles of roads.
Why all the statistics? To point out that a lot of people are dying, and our deplorable roads are a big part of the cause.
According to The Road Information Project, California tops its list of states with bad roads. TRIP says that 73 percent of California’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition. TRIP defines poor roads as roads so badly cracked or broken that they need to be reconstructed, and mediocre roads as having extensive rutting and patching and may require more than resurfacing to repair.
Anyone who has driven in other parts of the country will tell you that most states’ roads are better maintained, better designed and better marked than California’s roadways.
This is supposed to be the Golden State, we’re here in Silicon Valley, the cradle of innovation, technology and design, yet we have some of the worst roads in the country.
Designing and maintaining a safe system of roads is one of the key functions of government. Unfortunately, the job that’s being done in California is disgraceful.
We urge our federal, state, county and local lawmakers to get back to basics and get our roads, bridges and highways in shape, and we urge like-minded readers to let their elected officials know that this is a priority.
The state Legislature’s hatchet job of redistricting in South Valley diluted citizens’ clout by dividing the region among a myriad of districts in both the statehouse and the U.S. House of Representatives. We’ll have to make up for that by increasing the volume of our voices.
It that many years ago when the street of highway between Morgan Hill and San Jose had the name Blood Alley. It took pressure from residents and local elected representatives to make a new highway a real priority. It’s that time again.
Let Caltrans, your assemblyman, state senator, congressman or congresswoman, U.S. Senators, county supervisor and city council members know that our roads are in deplorable condition and we’re expecting them to do their jobs – fix California’s streets and roads.
Here’s how to get hold of your elected representatives:
• Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, 27th District (Morgan Hill): State Capitol, Room 2196, Sacramento, 95814, 916-319-2027, fax 916-319-2127, E-mail: [email protected] or http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a27/
• State Sen. McPherson, R-Santa Cruz, 15th district (Morgan Hill, San Martin, Gilroy, all of San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties): State Capitol, Room 2054, Sacramento, 95814, (916) 445-5843, E-mail: [email protected] or http://republican.sen.ca.gov/web/15/
• Congressman Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, 11th district (includes Morgan Hill) 2411 Rayburn Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, E-mail: [email protected] or www.house.gov.pombo or call 209-951-3091, fax 209-951-1910
• Rep. Zoe Lofgren, 16th district includes San Martin and San Jose. 102 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20515, 202-225-3072 phone, fax 202-225-3336, E-mail: [email protected] or www.zoelofgren.house.gov/
• Assemblyman Simon Salinas, D-Salinas, 28th district represents San Martin and Gilroy; State Capitol, Room 2175, Sacramento, CA 94249-0001; 916-319-2028, 916-319-2128 fax; E-mail [email protected] or website: www.democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a28/
• U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, 331 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, 202-224-3841, feinstein.senate.gov/email.html
• U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, 112 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, 202-224-3553, boxer.senate.gov/contact
• Santa Clara County Supervisor Don Gage, 299-2323, County Administration Building, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose, CA 95110, E-mail: [email protected] or the county’s website at www.sccgov.org