The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead

The role of roads in crashes

Ongoing preventive maintenance plays an important role in keeping our roads safe. Smooth roadways, clear lane markings, unobstructed sightlines, functional culverts and well-marked intersections are vital to safe roads. While driver behavior is a contributing factor in more than 90% of crashes, roads and the environment are also a factor in 28% of crashes.*

The cost to keep roads safe

Every year, a larger percentage of county roads slip into disrepair, and the county doesn't have the necessary revenue to keep up with maintenance. Since the cost to reconstruct a road is approximately 10 times greater than the cost of providing preventive maintenance,** keeping roads maintained saves money over the long run.

Reduced maintenance

Because revenue has not kept pace with costs, the county has had to:

  • defer maintenance on many roads
  • all but eliminate paving on neighborhood roads
  • stretch the number of years between many road maintenance services

Local funding would address the most crucial needs

The county currently does not have a gas tax, a vehicle registration fee, or any other local road-funding source. In November 2016, county voters rejected a proposed fuel tax of 6-cents-per-gallon for seven years to support road maintenance.

Clackamas County, along with all Oregon counties and cities, will begin receiving additional transportation funds later this year from increased state-wide vehicle registration fees and gas taxes that were approved by the legislature in 2017. The county plans to use the additional funds to improve the safety and condition of county roads, and related transportation facilities.

*Highway Safety Improvement Program Manual, Highway Safety Improvement Program, Federal Highway Administration, 2011

**2014 Pavement Condition Report, Oregon Department of Transportation