Holy Potholes!

ro_returns's picture

According to this recent article in 7x7 Magazine, SF Streets are the second worst in the nation. What?!

I don't drive but I do ride the bus, catch cabs, and bike. I did not think that our streets were really that bad. Officially, 61% of San Francisco’s roads are in poor condition, 22% are fair, 4% are mediocre, and only 13% are in good condition.

It is also estimated that the poor roads add an average annual cost of $705 to the maintence of each SF vehicle.

Is there anything being done about this? I'm concerned, especially with the rain we've been having!

ConnorO'Gara's picture

Not Much

Very little has historically been done about the pot holes.  Out of the annual budget of $6.6 Billion, SF historically spends about $9M annually on 'Street and curb repair.'   That's something like 0.0024% of the budget.

If you notice all the repaving going on around the city, much of this money has come from the Obama stimulus package.  I think SF is spending about $18m this year, $9 of our dollars and $9m from stimulus.

Also, I believe voters approved the $341m bond initative to repave the streets in November? I could be wrong. 

gcotter's picture

Improving in some areas

Streets have been improving in some areas and I'm sure it is from part of the stimulus money.  I have a Smart car which has a suspension that is very sensitive to pot holes.  I also ride a scooter which is at risk of accidents on some streets - not to mention I have to keep my eyes on the road instead of on the traffic around me.  For me, anything that provides ongoing maintenance of our streets is welcome.  

I often notice that when I travel elsewhere the streets in other cities are in much better shape than the streets of SF.  Our city budget can only be stretched so far and with every non-profit group holding their hands out in the current economy, well, money for city infrastructure gets cut.

Thank heavens for the stimulus package.  Without it streets would be in even worse shape.  And because I see the streetwork going on, I know that jobs are created which means more money spent on meals etc.

However, having said all that, I do question some of the work being done.  Here in the Mission we have some street repaving going on but also work that seems, to me, less necessary.  For example, nearly every corner has sidewalk cuts for wheelchair access.  Now, however, I see that nearly every corner is being redone to add a yellow surfacing to the cut.  This is not a trivial task.  The corners are completely unaccessible for several weeks or more as each entire corner has all the cement removed and completely replaced.  On a cost effectiveness basis, isn't this going overboard?  

If the money is available for infrastructure I'd rather see streets repaved or sidewalk cuts installed on corners where they don't yet exist.  Replacing sidewalk cuts just because there is stimulus tax money is not appropriate.  My guess is that since the asphalt worker unions got jobs the concrete worker unions had to be given jobs.  In any case, the priority should be to add wheelchair access where it is needed before you start replacing the existing access points.

Roads resurfacing and recycling

Does anyone else wonder why San Francisco and California are not doing what other states are doing?  Using recycled tires to repave the roads.  Seems to me a city priding itself on recycle reuse would be doing this long before Arizona.

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137