San Francisco Roadway Condition Scores a 'Good' Rating, Reaching 10-year Goal
City investments make the roads smoother for drivers, cyclists, transit riders, pedestrians; Proposition A, approved by voters in November 2020, will provide another $31.5 million for street resurfacing projects
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced City’s regionally tracked roadway condition score hit its 10-year goal, demonstrating the benefits of a systematically planned and executed public infrastructure investment strategy to improve the streets of San Francisco.
The Pavement Condition Index, or PCI, is tracked by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the regional transportation planning and funding agency that monitors the condition of Bay Area roads. San Francisco’s PCI score for 2020 hit 75 out of 100, exceeding the region-wide average of 67. A PCI score of 75 puts the roads collectively in “good” condition, requiring mostly preventative maintenance. A score of 100 is assigned to a newly paved road.
In 2011, after years of deferred maintenance of San Francisco’s street infrastructure due to declining funding, voters approved the $248 million Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond, which jumpstarted a 10-year investment strategy to increase the PCI from 64 to 75. Additional support for road resurfacing has come from the City’s General Fund, the vehicle registration fee, and the half-cent transportation sales tax to build on the progress. The City spent approximately $650 million over the past 10 years, delivering the promised street improvements on time and on budget.
Last fall, San Francisco voters approved Proposition A, the Health and Recovery General Obligation Bond, which will bring an additional $31.5 million to help augment the Public Works Street Resurfacing Program budget.
“I am grateful to City leaders and San Francisco voters who 10 years ago had the foresight to plan and invest in the City’s infrastructure,” said Mayor Breed. “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. We still have more work ahead of us to maintain our street conditions and keep improving the overall quality and safety of our roads and sidewalks, and I’m committed to ensuring our public infrastructure continues to get the attention it deserves.”
Public Works maintains more than 900 miles of streets comprising some 12,900 blocks. Well-maintained streets provide safe mobility for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians and make possible the movement of goods and services. Since 2011, 600 blocks have been resurfaced on average each year.
“San Francisco’s streets are critical infrastructure, used by just about everybody, every day,” said Acting Public Works Director Alaric Degrafinried. “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.”
The PCI assessment is based on visual surveys performed by specially trained and certified staff. Each segment is evaluated based on ride quality, cracking and signs that the roadway may be breaking up in places.
The Street Resurfacing Program is guided by a geographical equity lens, which ensures street improvements occur in all of San Francisco’s neighborhoods. Public Works evaluates the impacts of wear, erosion, and aging of each street, and assesses street deterioration with a rating for each of the City’s blocks. Currently, nearly two-thirds of San Francisco blocks have a rating of good or excellent. For more information, refer to Street Resurfacing Program.
Public Works’ pavement strategy adheres to best industry practices by preserving streets in good condition instead of letting them deteriorate. This approach is the most cost-efficient and effective. Extending the life of a block in San Francisco that is in good condition costs approximately $50,000. By comparison, the cost to completely reconstruct a block in very poor condition can run as high as $500,000.