Street conditions in big trouble; working group set up 

Department of Public Works head Ed Reiskin has told Mayor Gavin Newsom that just to keep San Francisco’s streets in their “average poor street conditions from deteriorating further,” The City would need to find a quarter-billion dollars during the next 10 years.

The problem is The City is facing a second consecutive year of having to close a deficit in excess of half a billion dollars and there just doesn’t seem to be enough money

The average Pavement Condition Index score is 63 of out a possible 100. Without spending an “adequate” amount each year on the streets the score “will drop to 57during the next five years and to 53 over the next ten years.”

“A viable and stable funding sources is needed now because the more a street deteriorates, the more costly they become to repair later,” according to a DPW release.

The challenge facing city officials is to figure out how to find that funding source. To that end, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu has directed the Capital Planning Committee to establish a three-month Street Resurfacing Finance Working Group to “identify a long term, sustainable and viable plan to fund the City’s road infrastructure.”

“In fiscal year 2010-11, the Resurfacing Program is projected to receive $24 million from local (Prop K) and state sales tax revenues (Prop 42), state infrastructure bond (Prop 1B), and federal funds.  This level of funding represents less than half of the budget necessary to maintain the roadways in its current condition,” DPW says.

Revenue options mentioned previous include everything asking voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase to generate up to $36 million annually, or ask them to approve a mandate that The City allocate from the operating budget up to $40 million annually for streets.

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