City ‘shortchanging’ road fixes

Drivers, bikers, walkers beware — the decrepit conditions of San Francisco’s roads are not deserving of good grades. In a report issued Wednesday by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional transportation planning and funding agency, San Francisco’s 2,060 miles of roadway were determined to be only “fair.”

This is not the first year that The City’s roads received little more than a passing grade. San Francisco’s roads were rated 65 out of 100 between 2003 and 2005 and 64 in 2006. The Bay Area’s roadwaysfared about the same overall. Roads are judged on such things as cracks and potholes.

“Sixty-four is OK, but it’s not outstanding,” MTC spokesman John Goodwin said.

The Department of Public Works, which does the roadwork, has increased repaving efforts. Last fiscal year, DPW paved 243 city blocks and this fiscal year it is about halfway toward its goal of repaving 350 city blocks, DPW spokeswoman Gloria Chan said. DPW finished repaving 16 blocks of Stockton Street last month and is now working on Van Ness Avenue between Lombard and Beach streets. Additionally, DPW launched a proactive pothole-filling program this year and during the last three months filled 4,500 potholes, Chan said.

The department estimates that The City needs to spend $50.4 million annually to get to a rating of 70, or “good.” This year, The City has budgeted $36 million in state, federal and city dollars.

“There is no question our roads need a significant amount of work. There is no denying that,” said Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who in recent years has worked to increase funding for capital needs, including street repairs. “Over the last three years, for the first time in literally decades, The City is fully funding the annual need for street repair. We went well over 20 years shortchanging street repair.”

Elsbernd said it will be his priority to ensure street repaving remains a funded priority despite the looming $230 million projected shortfall for the next fiscal year. “We have recognized finally that there is a problem and you are going to see a number of big projects done over the next few years,” he said.

Road conditions are considered an important quality-of-life issue as well as a safety issue. Accidents caused by roads in disrepair puts The City at risk for lawsuits.

Mayor Gavin Newsom who has made frequent public pledges to get potholes repaired and streets repaves, said in April that TheCity has contributed $18 million additional taxpayer dollars this fiscal year to repave 315 city street blocks that have deteriorated. He estimated that about half of The City’s 12,458 blocks needed to be completely repaved.

jsabatini@examiner.com  

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPolitics

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Hyphen hosts a group show at Space Gallery in San Francisco in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Albert Law/Pork Belly Studio)
What’s in a name? Asian American magazine fights to keep its identity

An investor-backed media group laid claim to the moniker of SF’s long-running Hyphen magazine, sparking a conversation about writing over community history

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Most Read