Smooth Out That Bumpy Ride

Tens of millions of dollars have been allocated to repairing S.F.’s rough roads — with a few key corridors already scheduled for improvements.

Courtesy photo

Ask anyone what street in San Francisco is the most riddled with potholes and uneven pavement, and you’ll get a myriad of answers. Driving over portions of Evans Avenue in the Bayview feels like off-roading, biking down Page Street’s steepest hill is a teeth-chattering affair, and El Camino del Mar, the road that snakes toward Golden Gate Bridge from the Legion of Honor, looks like an unfinished puzzle of mismatched pavement.

But soon, your commute will get a whole lot smoother. On Monday, the city approved plans to dedicate $22.5 million in state funding to repave 150 blocks across San Francisco. On July 1, millions more are expected from the city’s general fund, sales tax revenue, registration fees for cars, and revenue from gas taxes.

“As our city continues to grow, it is critical that we continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure,” Mayor London Breed said. “This funding will help us keep San Francisco moving by repaving roads, making our streets more accessible, and improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians across the city.”

But exactly where these improvements should take place is a hot topic. So far the city has announced that portions of Corbett Avenue, Eucalyptus Drive, Sanchez Street, Bay Street, 46th Avenue, Newhall Street, Stockton Street, and McAllister Street will be redone with this first round of funding. It’s a decent cross-city mix, but no doubt some residents will feel left out. A recent effort to choose which streets in Oakland to allocate money toward drew the ire of the city’s wealthy hill-dwellers, after it was determined that neighborhoods with “underserved residents” would receive priority.

Last year, San Francisco was selected as the city with the “worst streets” by a Washington, D.C. transportation group, in direct contrast to a California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment, which stated San Francisco’s streets are rated in “good” condition.

Reports aside, everyone can agree that there is a lot of work left to be done; the current Public Works goal is to resurface 450 of the city’s 12,900 blocks each year. And each repaving effort is reactive, but also preventative. The more degraded a street gets, the more expensive it is to repair.

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