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Peninsula Pavement Takes Turn for Better as County, Cities Put Tax Dollars to Work

John Goodwin, 415-778-5262
Randy Rentschler, 415-778-6780

San Mateo County and its 20 cities largely improved the quality of the pavement on their local street and road networks in 2018, with Burlingame, Menlo Park and Woodside registering the biggest year-over-year improvements; and Colma, Daly City and Foster City boasting some of the smoothest streets in the Bay Area. Data released today by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) show San Mateo County’s nearly 4,000 lane-miles of city streets and county roads registered an average pavement condition index (PCI) score of 72 out of a maximum possible 100 points last year, as calculated on a three-year moving average basis. This puts the typical stretch of Peninsula asphalt in the “good” range, and local officials expect the county’s PCIs scores to rise further in the years ahead.

“2018 was the first full year that state Senate Bill 1 delivered new street and road money to the county and our cities,” explained San Mateo County Supervisor and MTC Commissioner Warren Slocum, referring to the transportation funding package approved by the state Legislature in 2017.  “Pavement quality across San Mateo County is generally pretty good, and we now have a continuing investment that will make our best roads even better while also allowing local governments to do some needed catch-up.”

            PCI scores of 90 or higher are considered “excellent.” Pavement with a PCI score in the 80 to 89 range is considered “very good.” The “good” category ranges from 70 to 79, while streets with PCI scores in the “fair” (60-69) range are becoming worn to the point where rehabilitation may be needed to prevent rapid deterioration. Because major repairs cost five to 10 times more than routine maintenance, these streets are at an especially critical stage. Roadways with PCI scores of 50 to 59 are deemed “at-risk,” while those with PCI scores of 25 to 49 are considered “poor.” Pavement with a PCI score below 25 is considered “failed.”  Three-year moving average PCI scores for all San Mateo County jurisdictions are listed below:

Jurisdiction Total Lane Miles 2016 2017 2018
Atherton 105 77 77 76
Belmont 139 54 55 56
Brisbane 67 77 77 78
Burlingame 163 76 75 76
Colma 24 84 83 80
Daly City 255 79 81 83
East Palo Alto 83 63 66 68
Foster City 120 82 82 81
Half Moon Bay 55 66 65 62
Hillsborough 166 73 76 79
Menlo Park 196 74 73 75
Millbrae 122 52 52 53
Pacifica 188 54 53 50
Portola Valley 70 79 79 78
Redwood City 359 78 76 75
San Bruno 181 64 64 62
San Carlos 175 61 62 63
San Mateo 424 76 76 75
San Mateo Co.

629 72 73 74
South San Francisco 295 73 75 74
Woodside 97 73 74 78


The full Pavement Conditions Summary, including a list of average PCI scores for all Bay Area counties and cities, may be found at MTC’s Vital Signs website provides even more detailed information, including both block-by-block analyses and a record of every municipality’s average PCI score for each year from 2003 through 2018. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

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