San Francisco roads in ‘good’ condition

A 10-year program to make streets smoother reaches its primary goals

San Francisco roads have been deemed to be in “good” condition after a nearly 10-year and $650 million investment in making streets smoother and safer for all users.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission tracks road quality across the Bay Area using the Pavement Condition Index, a measurement system that rates city streets on a scale of zero to 100.

This year, the MTC gave San Francisco a score of 75, a score that exceeds the region’s average by eight points and denotes the roads require “mostly preventative maintenance” as opposed to significant overhaul. Scores are awarded based on visual surveys that evaluate ride quality, cracking and other signs of wear-and-tear.

San Francisco’s score of 75 marks the achievement of a goal set a decade ago to improve road conditions after years of deferred maintenance and declining infrastructure.

“A decade ago, we set a PCI target of 75 to get the roads in good condition, and we reached that goal through sound planning, design and delivery. The 10-year investment paid off and now we must keep the momentum going,” Acting Public Works Director Alaric Degrafinried said in a statement.

Mayor London Breed issued a press release Friday congratulating San Francisco’s efforts, spearheaded by its Department of Public Works, for its “public infrastructure investment strategy to improve the streets.”

The agency oversees and maintains more than 900 miles of streets. Through its Street Resurfacing Program, it has repaved an average of 600 blocks annually, nearly two-thirds of which have a rating of “good” or “excellent,” according to the press release.

“The Street Resurfacing Program not only makes roads safer and smoother for drivers, cyclists, transit riders and pedestrians in neighborhoods all across San Francisco, but it generates jobs, which is particularly crucial now in our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Breed said in the statement.

Funding for this effort came from a number of sources including The City’s General Fund, the vehicle registration fee and the half-cent transportation sales tax as well as the $248 million Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond, approved by voters in 2011 with the explicit purpose of raising San Francisco’s score on the Pavement Condition Index.

Voters approved a second bond last November, the Health and Recovery General Obligation Bond, which will generate another $31.5 million to go toward the resurfacing program.

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