News

Mediocrity marks local streets and roads survey in Bay Area cities

Pavement quality average unchanged for 5th consecutive year, agency study shows

The quality of the pavement on the Bay Area's nearly 43,000 lane-miles of local streets and roads is stuck in "fair" condition, with the typical stretch of asphalt showing serious wear and likely to require rehabilitation soon.

Data released today by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) puts the region's 2013 pavement condition index (PCI) score at 66 out of a maximum possible 100 points, as calculated on a three-year moving average basis.

This marks the fifth consecutive year the region has registered an average PCI score of 66, a reading that has not varied by more than two points since 2006.

Each of the Bay Area's three largest cities -- San Jose (62), San Francisco (65) and Oakland (60) -- recorded three-year PCI scores within the "fair" range.

"Restoring the Bay Area's transportation system to a state of good repair has long been one of the commission's most important priorities, and one of its most elusive," said MTC Chairwoman Amy Rein Worth, who also serves as a member of the Orinda City Council. "For local streets and roads, the goal is to get every one of our cities and counties to a score of 75 or better."

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Maintaining a regional average of 66 may be viewed as something of a partial victory, since most local governments' pavement maintenance needs have outstripped available funds for many years.

"Big improvements are possible if local voters decide streets and roads are an important civic priority," Worth said. "The clearest example is El Cerrito, which passed a half-cent sales tax in 2008 to finance a very successful citywide street improvement program."

"Voters in Orinda and Moraga approved similar measures in 2012 and that money is now being put to work," she added. "The needle is already moving in the right direction in Moraga and I expect next year's report to show the same kind of progress in my city of Orinda."

PCI scores of 90 or higher are considered "excellent." These are newly built or resurfaced streets that show little or no distress.

Pavement with a PCI score in the 80 to 89 range is considered "very good," and shows only slight or moderate distress, requiring primarily preventive maintenance.

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The "good" category ranges from 70 to 79, while streets with PCI scores in the "fair" (60-69) range are becoming worn to the point where rehabilitation may be needed to prevent rapid deterioration. Because major repairs cost five to 10 times more than routine maintenance, these streets are at an especially critical stage.

Roadways with PCI scores of 50 to 59 are deemed "at-risk," while those with PCI scores of 25 to 49 are considered "poor." These roads require major rehabilitation or reconstruction. Pavement with a PCI score below 25 is considered "failed." These roads are difficult to drive on and need reconstruction.

The lowest-ranked pavement in the Bay Area was found in the Marin County city of Larkspur and the Napa County city of St. Helena, each of which recorded a PCI score of 40 for 2011-13, down two points from 42 during the 2010-12 period.

In addition to Larkspur and St. Helena, other jurisdictions with three-year average PCI scores below the 60-point threshold include Albany, Belmont, Benicia, Berkeley, Calistoga, Cotati, East Palo Alto, Millbrae, Moraga, Orinda, Pacifica, Petaluma, Rio Vista, San Anselmo, San Leandro, Vallejo, and unincorporated Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties.

MTC's Regional Streets and Roads Program later this year will recognize Moraga for having the best overall pavement management strategy of any jurisdiction in the Bay Area. The town boosted its one-year average PCI score to 58 in 2013 from just 50 the year before.

The Regional Streets and Roads Program also will recognize the San Mateo County city of Half Moon Bay for chalking up the biggest improvement in its one-year PCI score, to 68 in 2013 from 56 in 2012; and the Contra Costa County city of Brentwood, whose one-year average PCI score of 86 is the highest of any Bay Area jurisdiction.

The complete 2013 Bay Area Pavement Conditions Summary -- including percentages of local roadways in "excellent" or "very good" and "poor" or "failed" condition, and a listing of average PCI scores for the arterials, collector roadways and residential streets -- in all Bay Area counties and cities is available at www.mtc.ca.gov/news/press_releases/rel663.htm/

Those interested in a deeper look at the challenges facing the region's local street and road network are invited to visit the MTC website at www.mtc.ca.gov and click on the link for a multimedia piece entitled "Street Fight: The Ongoing Battle for Better Bay Area Pavement."

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

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Mediocrity marks local streets and roads survey in Bay Area cities

Pavement quality average unchanged for 5th consecutive year, agency study shows

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 28, 2014, 8:09 am
Updated: Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 7:40 am

The quality of the pavement on the Bay Area's nearly 43,000 lane-miles of local streets and roads is stuck in "fair" condition, with the typical stretch of asphalt showing serious wear and likely to require rehabilitation soon.

Data released today by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) puts the region's 2013 pavement condition index (PCI) score at 66 out of a maximum possible 100 points, as calculated on a three-year moving average basis.

This marks the fifth consecutive year the region has registered an average PCI score of 66, a reading that has not varied by more than two points since 2006.

Each of the Bay Area's three largest cities -- San Jose (62), San Francisco (65) and Oakland (60) -- recorded three-year PCI scores within the "fair" range.

"Restoring the Bay Area's transportation system to a state of good repair has long been one of the commission's most important priorities, and one of its most elusive," said MTC Chairwoman Amy Rein Worth, who also serves as a member of the Orinda City Council. "For local streets and roads, the goal is to get every one of our cities and counties to a score of 75 or better."

Maintaining a regional average of 66 may be viewed as something of a partial victory, since most local governments' pavement maintenance needs have outstripped available funds for many years.

"Big improvements are possible if local voters decide streets and roads are an important civic priority," Worth said. "The clearest example is El Cerrito, which passed a half-cent sales tax in 2008 to finance a very successful citywide street improvement program."

"Voters in Orinda and Moraga approved similar measures in 2012 and that money is now being put to work," she added. "The needle is already moving in the right direction in Moraga and I expect next year's report to show the same kind of progress in my city of Orinda."

PCI scores of 90 or higher are considered "excellent." These are newly built or resurfaced streets that show little or no distress.

Pavement with a PCI score in the 80 to 89 range is considered "very good," and shows only slight or moderate distress, requiring primarily preventive maintenance.

The "good" category ranges from 70 to 79, while streets with PCI scores in the "fair" (60-69) range are becoming worn to the point where rehabilitation may be needed to prevent rapid deterioration. Because major repairs cost five to 10 times more than routine maintenance, these streets are at an especially critical stage.

Roadways with PCI scores of 50 to 59 are deemed "at-risk," while those with PCI scores of 25 to 49 are considered "poor." These roads require major rehabilitation or reconstruction. Pavement with a PCI score below 25 is considered "failed." These roads are difficult to drive on and need reconstruction.

The lowest-ranked pavement in the Bay Area was found in the Marin County city of Larkspur and the Napa County city of St. Helena, each of which recorded a PCI score of 40 for 2011-13, down two points from 42 during the 2010-12 period.

In addition to Larkspur and St. Helena, other jurisdictions with three-year average PCI scores below the 60-point threshold include Albany, Belmont, Benicia, Berkeley, Calistoga, Cotati, East Palo Alto, Millbrae, Moraga, Orinda, Pacifica, Petaluma, Rio Vista, San Anselmo, San Leandro, Vallejo, and unincorporated Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties.

MTC's Regional Streets and Roads Program later this year will recognize Moraga for having the best overall pavement management strategy of any jurisdiction in the Bay Area. The town boosted its one-year average PCI score to 58 in 2013 from just 50 the year before.

The Regional Streets and Roads Program also will recognize the San Mateo County city of Half Moon Bay for chalking up the biggest improvement in its one-year PCI score, to 68 in 2013 from 56 in 2012; and the Contra Costa County city of Brentwood, whose one-year average PCI score of 86 is the highest of any Bay Area jurisdiction.

The complete 2013 Bay Area Pavement Conditions Summary -- including percentages of local roadways in "excellent" or "very good" and "poor" or "failed" condition, and a listing of average PCI scores for the arterials, collector roadways and residential streets -- in all Bay Area counties and cities is available at www.mtc.ca.gov/news/press_releases/rel663.htm/

Those interested in a deeper look at the challenges facing the region's local street and road network are invited to visit the MTC website at www.mtc.ca.gov and click on the link for a multimedia piece entitled "Street Fight: The Ongoing Battle for Better Bay Area Pavement."

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Comments

Damon
Foothill Knolls
on Oct 28, 2014 at 11:07 am
Damon, Foothill Knolls
on Oct 28, 2014 at 11:07 am

Perhaps we need Measure BB after all?


Who is to blame?
Birdland
on Oct 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm
Who is to blame?, Birdland
on Oct 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Who is to blame for our bad roads?! JERRY BROWN! ELECT A REPUBLICAN!


a different perspective
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm
a different perspective, Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm

If one travels to other countries like Mexico or the Philippines where my wife is from, the roads there are horrible compared to what we have here. Very difficult and dangerous to ride a bicycle, impossible to skateboard if you're a kid, cobblestone streets and broken pavement and uplifted sidewalks with multiple tripping hazards. People urinating against building walls due to lack of sanitation facilities, you name it.

I'd invite everyone to go to a third world country, they'll come back here with a different perspective about our "fair" streets


Bill
Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm
Bill, Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Goes along with Hawaii and California having the worst Interstate Roads.
I guess you could put the Bay Bridge in this category, even before the thing opened to traffic. The suspension tower looks like it is giving San Francisco and Oakland the finger, which is apropos considering who was running the cities at the time the bridge was designed. Have you ever noticed that as soon as a road is repaved, some company, utility, or government agency has to immediately put in sewer, water, gas, power, communication, ……..etc, tears up the road and does a crappy job of repairing it? And you wonder why roads are in poor condition. Let me see, how easy would it be to have these underground utilities put in place before the road is repaved?
California does not lack money for transportation, it lacks the backbone to only use money earmarked for maintenance of roads and bridges on these transportation needs. The legislature instead shifts the money into the general fund where it is spent on other things. Same is true for funding of elementary schools and the public college system.
@ a different perspective - the GDP for the US is 16.8 Trillion dollars, for Mexico it is 1.2 Trillion, and for the Philippines it is 0.3 Trillion dollars. We should be able to afford good roads. We just have corrupt politicians.


Jason B.
another community
on Oct 31, 2014 at 1:34 am
Jason B., another community
on Oct 31, 2014 at 1:34 am

Pleasanton's roads would be better if it stopped shipping its transportation sales tax dollars to Oakland. Vote No on the Measure BB tax increase. It's a bad deal for Pleasanton, which ends up massively subsidizing Oakland's roads at the expense of Pleasanton's streets. Pleasanton has 22% as many road miles as Oakland and 18% of the population of Oakland. Pleasanton has 44% of the sales tax base as Oakland. Yet Pleasanton receives a mere 8% of the Measure B Local Street & Road funds as Oakland! See: Web Link The formula gives Oakland twice the per capita street funding as Pleasanton. Every road mile in Pleasanton receives about 1/3 of the funding that each road mile in Oakland receives. Measure BB gives $1.45 billion to AC Transit -- but a mere $39 million to Wheels. Did Mayor Thorne and the Pleasanton City Council actually read Measure BB before they rubber-stamped this tax increase? Or are Pleasanton city council co-conspirators in picking the pockets of Pleasanton taxpayers? Read the fine print -- watch your wallet -- hold Pleasanton politicians accountable for raising your taxes and giving away your money to be wasted as "political payoffs" in Oakland and elsewhere. More of Pleasanton-generated transportation sales tax dollars should stay in Pleasanton. Vote NO on the Measure BB tax increase.


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