Drivers sit in traffic while waiting to get onto the U.S. Interstate 80 onramp at Fifth and Bryant streets in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Drivers sit in traffic while waiting to get onto the U.S. Interstate 80 onramp at Fifth and Bryant streets in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Bay Area streets earn ‘fair’ grade in annual assessment

The average overall state of the Bay Area’s local roadways has held steady over the past five years and is described as just “fair” in a report released Thursday by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The report grades streets and roads inside cities and unincorporated county areas on a 100-point scale. In 2019, the average overall score for the region’s 43,000 miles of such thoroughfares was 76 — the same it’s been since 2015, according to MTC. That same year, 37 percent of roads were classified as “excellent or very good,” 33 percent were classified as “good or fair,” 9 percent were “at risk” and 21 percent were “poor or failed.”

Streets in fair condition are defined as “worn to the point where rehabilitation may be needed to prevent rapid deterioration,” according to MTC.

From 2010 through 2014, the region’s roadways held steady with a 66-point score, which is also considered fair.

“MTC’s goal is to boost the regional average (pavement condition index) score to about 85 points, which is close to where streets in cities like Dublin, Cupertino and Palo Alto are right now,” said MTC Board Chairman and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty.

“The good news is that the SB 1 gas tax money that cities and counties began receiving a couple years ago has helped prevent sliding backward,” Haggerty said. “But the bad news is that forward progress is slow and there’s still a long, steep climb to get where we want to be.”

Dublin topped the list in 2019 with a score of 85 and Petaluma was at the bottom with a score of 45. The streets of San Francisco earned a “good” score of 74, San Jose earned a “fair” 65 and Oakland earned a “fair” 54, according to MTC, which based all scores on a three-year moving average.

The full report can be found here.

-By Kiley Russell, Bay City News Foundation

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