January 15, 2016

Rachel Gordon, (415) 554-6045

San Francisco Street Pavement Condition Improves for Fourth Straight Year
Citywide road quality getting better for drivers, cyclists, public transit users


SAN FRANCISCO, CA –  Mayor Ed Lee and Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru today announced the results of a roadway condition survey that shows the quality of the City’s streets continues to improve, thanks in large part to the voter-approved $248 million 2011 Road Repaving and Street Safety bond.

Public Works reported a citywide average Pavement Condition Index score of 68 for calendar year 2015, up from a score of 67 in 2014. The information is tracked by the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which assesses the condition of Bay Area roads. San Francisco’s Pavement Condition Index score has increased each year for the last four years.

With additional funding from the Streets Bond, the City has been able to pave more streets than ever before, resulting in a steady increase of the citywide average score and toppling the 10-year average of 64. Public Works resurfaced and treated a record-high 927 blocks in fiscal year 2015, eclipsing the last record set in 2014 when 913 blocks were resurfaced.

“Thanks to our long-term planning and investments in our transportation infrastructure, the condition of our City’s streets and roads continues to improve,” said Mayor Lee. “I thank our residents who support these investments that help all of us to move around our City’s diverse neighborhoods better, faster and safer.“

The 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 City’s continued financial commitment has allowed us to pave more streets than ever before -- putting us on the right track for safer and smoother roads in San Francisco,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “However you get around the City – whether by car, bus, bike or on foot -- the condition of our streets is important. Keeping them in good shape and making them better is a priority.” A Pavement Condition Index score of 85-100 is rated as “excellent,” 64-84 “good,” 50-63 “fair,” and 0-49 “poor.” More than half of San Francisco City blocks are rated at good or excellent and less than a quarter are currently listed in the poor category.

The average score for San Francisco roads peaked at 77 in the late 1980s and gradually declined down to the low point of 64, where the average score hovered for a decade. If current funding levels are maintained, the citywide average Pavement Condition Index can improve to 70 in fewer than 10 years. The new 2015 rating surpasses the current California statewide average of 66.

San Francisco voters passed the $248 million Road Repaving and Street Safety bond in November 2011 at a time when the condition of City streets was at a critical juncture. Prior to passage of the three-year Streets Bond, San Francisco paved and resurfaced about 400 blocks a year – less than half of today’s pace. Over the last three years, 2,694 blocks, or 21 percent of San Francisco’s City-maintained blocks, were treated -- half funded with proceeds from the 2011 Streets Bond and the others paid for with different sources of local and state money.

Significant street resurfacing projects in the last year included work in every San Francisco neighborhood, with dozens of blocks paved on Franklin, Gough, Taraval, Divisadero, Pine, Sacramento, Stockton, Vicente and Silver, among other streets.

Public Works’ cost‐effective pavement-management strategy preserves streets in good condition instead of letting them deteriorate. The cost to reconstruct a street segment that is in poor condition versus making pavement preservation treatments to a segment that is in good condition can be considerably more expensive. Extending the life of a block in San Francisco that is in good condition can cost approximately $24,000. The complete reconstruction of an average sized block in poor or very poor condition, including repairs to the concrete base and the top layer of asphalt, can be as high as $520,000.

The City is responsible for maintaining approximately 940 miles of streets. More information on the Streets Bond can be found

About San Francisco Public Works: The 24/7 City agency cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and nurtures City-maintained street trees; designs, constructs and maintains City-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; builds curb ramps; eradicates graffiti; partners with neighborhoods; trains people for jobs; and greens the right of way.