The Pothole Report: Bay Area Roads At Risk

Building on the foundation established by MTC’s original 2000 Pothole Report and then by a 2011 update, this report includes both a primer on the cost and life cycle of pavement and a comprehensive look at the current state of the Bay Area’s local streets and roads network, featuring a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction ranking of average pavement condition index (PCI) scores among the region’s nine counties and 101 cities. This analysis spotlights the myriad pavement-management challenges facing Sonoma County and the vast network of roadways in unincorporated portions of the county. It also illuminates the impact voter approval of Proposition 6 would have on cities’ and counties’ pavement maintenance programs.

If approved by a majority of voters, Proposition 6 would repeal the $5.4 billion-a-year transportation funding package approved by the state Legislature in 2017 through Senate
Bill 1 (SB 1). The measure also would subject any future taxes on motor vehicle fuels (and the vehicles themselves) to voter approval.

By far the largest recipient of SB 1 dollars is a newly-established Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program estimated to receive $3.7 billion annually, and through which half the funds are dedicated to city streets and county roads, with the other half going to state highway maintenance. In the nine-county Bay Area, SB 1 is expected to generate more than $200 million for city streets and county roads each year. The prospect that this revenue stream may soon run dry calls for an updated analysis of the Bay Area’s local street and road network.

The condition of the Bay Area’s local streets and roads has improved since the turn of the 21st century, primarily as a result of targeted local investment and continually improving pavement maintenance practices. Yet the typical stretch of asphalt still shows serious wear and is likely to require rehabilitation soon. At 67 out of a possible 100 points, the region’s average pavement condition index (PCI) score has climbed four points over the past 15 years, though it remains much closer to the 60-point threshold at which deterioration accelerates rapidly and the need for major rehabilitation becomes more likely than it does to the 85-point mark used by MTC to indicate a state of good repair. While years of work by MTC and the region’s local governments have forestalled a steep decline, overall conditions on our 43,374 lane-miles of city streets and county roads remain no better than “fair.”

Read the full report here

About Kevin

Mayor - City of Oakley, Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit, Transplan, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority and RD 2137, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction
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