Condition of San Francisco roads better than some Peninsula cities 

Four cities in San Mateo County have some of the worst streets in the Bay Area, and while San Francisco’s roads are in fair shape, they’re not getting any better.

The streets of Millbrae, Pacifica, Woodside and East Palo Alto have deteriorated and require immediate rehabilitative work, leading to bumpy rides for local residents, according to a regional report released Wednesday by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The MTC report reviewed local pavement data to assign road condition scores for every city, town, and municipality in the Bay Area.

On a scale of 1-100, East Palo Alto received the worst grade in San Mateo County, scoring just a 53, while Woodside had a 57, Pacifica a 59, and Millbrae a 59. The road conditions in all four cities were deemed “at-risk” by the MTC report.

The streets of San Francisco ranked a little better, with a score of 64 — enough to put them in the “fair” category. But The City’s score has not changed since 2006.

Because the study averages data on every street, road, or alley in a jurisdiction, it’s much harder for big cities to make improvements, agency spokesman John Goodwin said. With 2,130 lane miles, San Francisco has one of the biggest networks in the Bay Area. The City’s score could improve if a $248 million road repair bond is approved by voters in November.

With 124 lane miles — roughly 5 percent of San Francisco’s total — Millbrae may be able to move up in the rankings a little easier. However, Daniel Quigg, Millbrae’s mayor, said street repair projects in the city are beset by funding problems.

“I definitely hear a lot of complaints from our constituency about the state of our roads,” Quigg said. “But, just like everything else, there is no funding coming down to pay for these things. Believe me, if we had the money, we’d make the improvements.”

Ron Popp, the director of Millbrae’s Department of Public Works, said it usually takes two to three years to accumulate enough funding to repair the city’s smaller, residential streets, which typically are ineligible for state and federal grants. More than half of Millbrae consists of such streets, Popp said.

The lack of funding is a common theme for Bay Area roads. To improve street conditions, the report said, the region would need to spend $975 million annually — nearly three times as much as the current $351 million spent in annual expenditures.

“For a while now, the Bay Area has barely been holding its ground in terms of pavement quality,” said Adrienne Tissier, a San Mateo County Supervisor and MTC board chair. “Clearly, we could do a better job. Whether we take the necessary steps is up to the region.”


Street grades

The MTC compiled data for every Bay Area city to assign its Pavement Condition Index. Based on that score, each municipality fell into one of five categories — Very Good, Good, Fair, At-Risk, and Poor.

City Score
Very Good
Foster City 81
Redwood City 78
Burlingame 77
Daly City 77
San Mateo 73
South San Francisco 73
San Carlos 67
San Francisco 64
San Bruno 63
Millbrae 59
Pacifica 59
Woodside 57
East Palo Alto 53

Source: MTC

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Will Reisman

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