The regional average PCI score held steady at 67 in 2018, with roads in the region rated as fair overall.
Regionwide, street pavement conditions generally have been stable since 2003, the first year data were collected. Since then, the average PCI score in the Bay Area has ranged from 63 to 67, putting our local streets and roads in “fair” condition. While local governments continue to work to improve their pavement condition, aging infrastructure remains a challenge for the region.
While pavement conditions across the region largely have been stable in recent years, performance gains are more evident at the county level. San Francisco and Marin counties had the biggest improvements in PCI from 2010 to 2018, gaining eight and six points, respectively. Notably, after three years in which pavement condition in all counties either improved or held steady, Napa and Sonoma counties experienced one point declines in PCI in 2018. Whether due to direct damage or lack of investment, this decline may be linked to the October 2017 North Bay wildfires.
Historical Trend for Street Pavement Condition
Pavement condition in most cities has changed only marginally over the past decade.
The majority of Bay Area cities and towns have seen minimal shifts in their pavement conditions over the past 10 years. For example, many of the region’s most populous cities – including San Jose, Oakland, Fremont and Hayward – have only shifted by a few PCI points over the past decade. Yet there have also been some success stories, particularly in smaller suburban jurisdictions like El Cerrito, Orinda and Woodside.
Street Pavement Condition Distribution by City (2018)
Pavement conditions vary widely from city to city.
Close to three-quarters of Bay Area cities have pavement rated as fair or good (PCI score between 60 and 79), including the region’s two largest cities – San Jose and San Francisco. In total, 74 percent of the region’s population lives in jurisdictions with fair or good pavement, with another 6 percent living in places with pavement in excellent condition (PCI score of 80 or higher). Notable exceptions include the region’s third most populous city, Oakland, along with its neighbors Berkeley and San Leandro – all of which have “at risk” PCIs between 50 and 59.
North Bay communities dominate the list of Bay Area communities with the lowest PCI scores. Among these are Larkspur, Petaluma, Vallejo and Sebastopol. Some of the region’s smoothest roads can be found in East Bay cities such as Brentwood, Dublin and El Cerrito. Not surprisingly, superior pavement conditions are often found in newer communities, where many streets were constructed in the last 20 years or so, as well as in jurisdictions that have passed funding measures aimed at road rehabilitation.
San Francisco County had the biggest improvement in PCI of any county since 2010, gaining eight points
Dublin has the region's smoothest streets, at a PCI of 86
Street Pavement Condition by City and by Street Segment (2018)
Sources & Methodology
Pavement condition index (PCI) relies upon a three-year moving average for regional, county and city PCI to improve the reliability of the PCI data on an annual basis. The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 0 representing a failed road and 100 representing a brand-new facility. Segment PCI data is collected on a rolling basis but is imputed for interim years based on facility age and treatments using the MTC StreetSaver system. Pavement condition data was not collected in 2008. As such, 2007 and 2009 PCI scores were averaged to compute a 2008 estimate for the Regional Distribution chart. Due to a lack of reported PCI data for the city of Palo Alto in 2007, an average could not be calculated, so Palo Alto is not included in the Regional Distribution chart.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission: StreetSaver (2003-2018)