Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Public Safety

San Diego road conditions rated as 'fair,' but still below state average

Potholes on Division Street at 58th Street in Alta Vista. San Diego, Calif. Feb. 23, 2023.
Matthew Bowler
Potholes on Division Street at 58th Street in Alta Vista. San Diego, Calif. Feb. 23, 2023.

San Diego streets earned a "fair" rating from an assessment of the conditions of every paved street segment in every neighborhood, the first in seven years, it was announced Thursday.

The evaluation of street conditions, known as a Pavement Condition Index, is included in a comprehensive Pavement Management Plan, released by the city's Transportation Department to outline a data-driven strategy for pavement management in future years. It is the first such evaluation in seven years.

"All San Diegans deserve smooth roads in their neighborhoods," Mayor Todd Gloria said. "The recent results of the Pavement Condition Index and associated Pavement Management Plan will give us the tools to be more strategic and efficient when it comes to improving and resurfacing our street network now and in the future."


The data was collected last spring over the course of several months. San Diego scored a 63 out of 100. The evaluations have a target average of 70.

In Gloria's FY24 budget, the city dedicated $140 million investment to repair streets by focusing on repairing high-volume roadways. In 2023, 254 miles of roadway were repaired or resurfaced, and more than 61,300 potholes were filled.

The last PCI, conducted in 2016, saw the city score a 71. The city maintains more than 6,600 lane miles of roadway.

According to a statement from the city, it has not had enough funding to perform assessments at the recommended frequency of every four years.

"Every day, our city crews are out repairing streets and filling potholes," said Eric Dargan, Chief Operating Officer for the city. "Having this updated pavement condition assessment will help us be more strategic with how we allocate our resources in the future.


"While we are heading into a lean budget year, we know that our residents expect and deserve to have to safe, smooth streets," he said. "Using a data-driven strategy will allow us to be more efficient and prioritize roads for repair in all of our neighborhoods across the city."

According to the city, four main factors were used to compare the city against other agencies, including PCI funding sources, maintenance trends and annual mileage of road repairs conducted. Five of the 13 benchmarked cities currently have an average roadway network PCI greater than or equal to San Diego's PCI target of 70. The average PCI for the state of California is 65.

"The results of the PCI analysis show us we aren't where we need to be concerning the conditions of our streets," said Bethany Bezak, director of the city's transportation department. "Now that we have this data, it allows us to put a long-term plan in place to better strategically and cost- effectively fix our roads."

City staff have also developed a Five-Year Paving Plan that shows which streets would be paved in the next five fiscal years if the transportation department were to receive the funding requested in the Pavement Management Plan.

The relaunched StreetsSD page — — allows residents to see ongoing and future paving project plans, when streets were last resurfaced, and current pavement conditions. They can also provide feedback to the city about the streets in their neighborhood.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.