Rural Sonoma County is one place where older pavement, higher rainfall and heavier traffic loads all come together, where PCI scores on a vast network of roads (including more than 1,300 centerline miles and over 2,700 lane miles) consistently have ranked among the very lowest of any Bay Area jurisdiction. More than half of the county's road network is in "poor" or "failed" condition, and just 16 percent of county-owned pavement is rated "excellent" or "very good." The numbers add up to a road system firmly in the "poor" category, with average PCI scores of 46 for the network as a whole and just 34 for less-traveled county roads carrying a residential classification.
Save Our Sonoma Roads, a nonprofit citizens group established in 2011 to advance public education about pavement issues and to advocate for increased public funding of roadway maintenance, repair and rehabilitation throughout Sonoma County, asserts that decades of underinvestment in preventive maintenance and pavement preservation are responsible for the deterioration of the county's largely rural road network.
Craig Harrison, a rural Sonoma County resident who co-founded Save Our Sonoma Roads, notes, "In this county, the Board of Supervisors years ago established what they call the Primary Road System, which is the 200 miles that are most used and most traveled — and those are fairly well maintained. The other 1,183 miles or so are subject to irregular funding and are possibly destined to go to dirt or gravel in the next decade or two if something isn't to correct the situation. … It's an interesting problem, and very complicated."