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San Diego Mayor Touts City's Progress In Fixing Potholes

City employees filling a pothole in the University Heights neighborhood on Oct. 2, 2019.
Matthew Bowler
City employees filling a pothole in the University Heights neighborhood on Oct. 2, 2019.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and city street crews stopped by University Heights Wednesday morning to show off their progress in fixing potholes.

"We have the budget for the extended crews on nights and weekends. It's working and we're continuing on the overall street repair. My goal is hit 1000 miles of road in five years or less, we've hit that, we're continuing on," Faulconer said.

San Diego Mayor Touts City’s Progress In Fixing Potholes
Listen to this story by Priya Sridhar.

Faulconer added that city crews filled nearly 49,000 potholes during the 2018-19 fiscal year, a big jump from the average of 32,000 annually in years past.


The increase is mainly due to the city tripling the number of road repair crews, the mayor said. Another help is the "Get It Done" app, which allows residents to alert the city of a pothole they want filled. Finally, technology is aiding crews in identifying streets with the most potholes.

"Every five years or so what we're doing is we have a company that goes out and drives every mile of every street. They actually take a very fine reading of the pavement and they actually take video files and something that allows us to program the funds where they’re the most needed," said Kevin McFadden, the city's transportation and storm water department director.

The city has a website that allows users to plug in an address and see all the road repairs from the last five years. Officials also say they're doing a better job of coordinating different projects.

Video: San Diego Mayor Touts City's Progress In Fixing Potholes

"One of the big changes was to look at other projects that the city was doing. When you look under any street, you're going to have water and wastewater lines and sewer lines. So when the city is actually repairing those, what we're doing now is when that work is done, you're going to get a new street on top of it and that's what you're going to experience," McFadden said.

Neighbors at Wednesday's media event weren't so sure. One woman said the water lines on her street were replaced over a year ago, but the street still hadn't been fixed. She says the city told her a week ago that crews would be repaving the street this week, yet the crews haven't shown.


"For example, Florida right down the street, it's been completely repaved and has looked fine for months now. So when I got this I figured that that was what they were going to do is really repair the street. So anyways I'm just wondering what's happening," said Sarah Swanson.

In a statement to KPBS, a city spokesperson acknowledged that residents were given the wrong information, but blamed the mistake on a private contractor the city hired to pave the road.

A recent grand jury report finds San Diego's enforcement of electric scooter laws is lax and riders routinely violate traffic laws. The city is pushing back on the findings. Plus, the city of San Diego says street crews are filling potholes at a record pace but the problem remains massive and expensive. Also on the podcast, the Department of Veterans Affairs is training clergy members around the country to look for signs of psychological disorders and other issues among veterans in their congregations. And, California's wildfire season has been relatively calm this year, but Gov. Gavin Newsom isn't taking it for granted. He signed a batch of bills Wednesday to improve wildfire prevention, response and recovery.