Saturday, April 28, 2012

(San Diego County) GRAND JURY: S.D. ROADS GO FROM BAD TO WORSE - Written by Aaron Burgin The condition of San Diego’s roads has deteriorated over the past four years, and Mayor Jerry Sanders needs to formally commit to improving it, the county grand jury said in a report released this week. The report cites data from the National Transportation Research Group, a think tank funded by road builders and others, saying half of the city’s streets are in poor condition — more than twice the national average. The report cites city audits that said that a key index of measuring street quality, the Overall Condition Index, has gone from a 63 percent rating in 2007 to 54 percent in 2011, more than 20 points below the industry standard of 75 percent. City studies have also shown that city roads need about $478 million in repairs. Sanders’ budget proposal of $34.1 million for fiscal 2012 to repair streets only maintains the current conditions and does not improve them, the report states. “Such a ‘status quo’ option of limited effort will only perpetuate today’s problems,” the report states. “San Diego city streets have been neglected for so many years that both the mayor and City Council must focus on improving this community asset.” Sanders’ office responded that the grand jury report fails to acknowledge that the city has pledged more than $100 million in road repairs since 2010, including $47 million spent in 2010 from bonds and a commitment to use $25 million in Transnet Tax Revenues next fiscal year. By comparison, the city spent about $4 million a year on road repairs in the 10 years before Sanders became mayor, Sanders’ office said. “In the past few years, the city has committed an unprecedented amount of money to fix streets that suffered from decades of neglect,” Sanders’ spokesman Alex Roth said. “Sadly, the grand jury report fails to mention this historic financial commitment.” The city has 90 days to issue an official response.

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