[ Article originally appeared in https://sfmayor.org ]
The $77.2 million investment will advance efforts to keep streets safe and in good condition for all users
Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Myrna Melgar announced the City’s $77.2 million Street Resurfacing Program for the coming year that targets paving 500 blocks in neighborhoods citywide, making travel safer, smoother, and more accessible for people who drive, bike, take transit, walk, and with disabilities. The street resurfacing budget of $77.2 million is funded by local and state funding.
Currently, nearly two-thirds of San Francisco blocks are rated at good or excellent by the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) independent pavement condition rating system. The City’s overall Pavement Condition Index score is 74 out of 100, which exceeds the Bay Area average of 67.
“The continued investment in our roads to keep them in good repair is paying off,” said Mayor Breed. “We have seen a steady improvement in street conditions over the past decade, and that helps everyone in our city, whether you are driving, biking, walking, or riding transit. This kind of investment is an essential responsibility of government while also generating jobs that benefit workers and the local economy.”
To support the City’s resurfacing plan, yesterday the Board of Supervisors voted on and passed a resolution that sets the list of blocks proposed for paving under San Francisco’s share of state Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account (funds from Senate Bill 1 or SB 1.) San Francisco will receive $28.8 million of that funding for the new fiscal year that starts July—an amount that accounts for more than one third of the budget for the City’s Street Resurfacing Program managed by San Francisco Public Works.
“We passed SB 1 to improve our transportation infrastructure across California, including our transit and roads. These infrastructure investments are crucial for our community,” said Senator Scott Wiener, co-author of SB 1. “It’s great to see San Francisco taking such an active role in road improvement.”
In 2017, the California Legislature approved the Road Repair and Accountability Act (SB 1), the largest transportation funding measure in California history. The landmark investment secures $54 billion over the next decade to repair roads, freeways, and bridges in communities across California. In addition to SB 1 money, funding sources for roadway improvements include the vehicle registration fee, the local half-cent transportation sales tax, and Certificates of Participation, a funding mechanism that leverages General Fund monies. The goal is to use all the funding sources to resurface 500 blocks in the new fiscal year, using a combination of Public Works in-house street repair crews and private contractors managed by Public Works to do the work.
“Roads are an essential part of our civic infrastructure that connect residents to other neighborhoods and to each other,” said Supervisor Melgar, the District 7 representative on the Board of Supervisors and Chair of the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use & Transportation Committee. “Keeping our streets in good shape to make city life run smoothly must remain a top priority for the city. We need to continuously support this investment.”
Public Works identified 215 blocks that are candidates for paving funded by the next year’s SB 1 funds. Among them are segments of Harrison Street, Larkin Street, Union Street, Ninth Avenue, Diamond Street, Balboa Street, 14th Street and dozens more. Blocks in neighborhoods not captured in this specific allocation will be covered by other funding streams to ensure geographic equity. Among those candidates are Hunters Point Boulevard, Scott Street, Tennessee Street, Cesar Chavez Street, Geneva Avenue, and others.
“This is a significant investment and an extremely important one,” said interim Public Works Director Carla Short. “With the support of Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors, we are dedicated to keeping our streets in good condition for all users, and that’s just about anyone who lives here or comes to San Francisco to work or visit.”
The Street Resurfacing Program is guided by a geographical equity lens, which ensures street improvements happen in all neighborhoods of the City. The Public Works infrastructure team 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. Public Works maintains more than 900 miles of streets comprising some 12,900 blocks. Over the past 10 years, 500 or more blocks have been resurfaced annually.
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-effective and efficient. 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.
More information about the Street Resurfacing Program can be found at: https://www.sfpublicworks.org/street-resurfacing