Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NOPA's Bumpy Streets, Part One

Bicyclists and motorists know our city streets are mostly in a sorry state with potholes, cracks, utility cuts, and all sorts of surface hazards. San Francisco streets average a score of 64 on a scale of 1 to 100. That 64 hovers between pavement that requires a preventative treatment (filling cracks and seams and repairing potholes) and those surfaces that are so degraded from wear that they sorely need resurfacing or more fundamental reconstruction.

How do the 30 square blocks* of NOPA fare in the distressed pavement world? Our street surfaces are worse than you might expect:
  • 24% of our blocks require major repair or reconstruction now.
  • 43% of our blocks need resurfacing before they worsen.
  • 20% of our blocks need preventative repairs before they degrade further.
  • 13% of our blocks are fine for now (due to recent re-surfacing mostly)
With the first two categories combined, fully two-thirds of our blocks need basic and extensive make-overs.

How does your NOPA block rate?
Check the three basic categories below. Note that blocks on the San Francisco Paving Database map (scroll to page 31 for the map) are grouped by color and correspond to the degree of wear and tear of the surfaces (aka Pavement Condition Index scores):
  • Red = 0 - 49 These blocks need reconstruction and/or major repairs.
  • Blue = 50 - 63 These blocks can get by with resurfacing.
  • Green = 64 - 84 Preventative work can extend the life of these surfaces.
NOPA's RED Blocks: 24% of total 71 blocks need reconstruction or other major repair
Divisadero All 6 blocks, Fell to Turk, seriously degraded condition.
Broderick Fulton to McAllister
Central Grove to McAllister
Masonic Fell to Hayes and Grove to McAllister
Hayes Central to Baker and Broderick to Divisadero
Fulton Masonic to Central and Broderick to Divisadero

NOPA's BLUE Blocks: 43% of total 71 blocks need resurfacing
Masonic Hayes to Grove and McAllister to Turk
Central Hayes to Grove and Golden Gate to Turk
Lyon Fell to Golden Gate
Baker Grove to Turk
Broderick Fell to Grove and McAllister to Turk
Hayes Masonic to Central and Baker to Broderick
Grove Central to Baker
Fulton Central to Broderick
McAllister Masonic to Baker
Golden Gate Masonic to Baker

NOPA's Green Blocks: 14% of total 71 blocks need preventative treatments
Central Fell to Hayes and McAllister to Golden Gate
Lyon Golden Gate to Turk
Baker Fell to Hayes
Fell Lyon to Divisadero
Grove Masonic to Central and Baker to Broderick
McAllister Baker to Divisadero
Golden Gate Central to Lyon
Turk Baker to Divisadero

What does this mean?
NOPA streets are not in imminent danger of catastrophe -- although we get occasional sinkholes. But NOPA has a signficant number of blocks that are more rapidly deteriorating due to delayed maintenance, and the cost of repairing these increases exponentially if delayed too long. For example, a block with a score of 50 can be repaved for about $95,000, but allow that block to deteriorate to below 25, and the cost could soar to $430,000, according to the SF Department of Public Works.

How do NOPA streets compare with those in other neighborhoods?
Check the city paving map to view NOPA blocks and those of other neighborhoods.

Please post your own observations here about NOPA's streets or comparisons with other neighborhoods.

If you check the site for the map, you might notice it is part of a report on a Safe Streets Bond measure that the city is expected to place on the ballot in November. More on that in an upcoming post.

Remember: potholes can be reported to 311 online or call 311. All you need to provide is the street and the cross street and, if possible, the nearby address.

* For this analysis, I'm looking at the area defined by Masonic and Divisadero, Fell and Turk; this is a 30 block area with 71 separate blocks.

Coming up in Part Two: Which NOPA streets are scheduled for repaving and when?

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