Condition of SF streets shows improvement 

click to enlarge roadways
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner file photo
  • San Francisco's roadways are being repaired, according to the Department of Public Works.
A record number of San Francisco’s pothole-punctured, eroding roadways saw repair last year, and the overall condition of The City’s street pavement has steadily improved, the Department of Public Works announced Monday.

After treating and resurfacing 854 blocks in 2013, the department reports a Pavement Condition Index score of 66 for the year, a one-point improvement from 2012 and up from the average of 64 over the past decade.

The citywide average index could improve to 70 by 2021 if current project funding of about $70 million per year continues.

The Pavement Condition Index assigns city blocks a score from a low of zero for the worst pothole-riddled streets to a high of 100 for a freshly paved block.

“Each little incremental step we go up is an important improvement,” said department spokeswoman Rachel Gordon. “It’s very rare that you would ever see a major jump because it’s really fixing one block at a time.”

The average road score peaked at 77 in the late 1980s, but gradually declined to a low of 63 due to a lack of funding. Currently, about half of The City’s blocks are scored 85 to 100, designating them as being in “excellent” condition, while scores between 64 to 84 are considered “good.”

Improvements made last year are owed in large part to the voter-approved, $248 million Road Repaving and Street Safety bond of 2011, which funded work in 2012 and 2013 but ends this year, according to Public Works.

The department is “actively looking for sustainable funding” to continue pavement improvements, Gordon said. Options include support from the general fund, transportation bonds and a local vehicle license fee.

About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Bio:
Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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