Escondido to triple road repair funding

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Apr 102013
 

Council directs staff to spend minimum of $4.7 million yearly on maintenance work

Source: David Garrick, UT San Diego

— Faced with some of the region’s shabbiest roads, Escondido City Council members decided this week to nearly triple how much the city spends each year on paving and street maintenance.

“The condition of our streets just befuddles me,” Councilman Ed Gallo told his colleagues during their meeting Wednesday night. “We deserve nicer streets as residents of the city.”

More than 12 percent of Escondido’s roads are either “failing” or in “serious” condition, according to a recently completed evaluation of every city street.

And an additional 15.5 percent were deemed either “very poor” or “poor” by the survey, the first of its kind in city history.

On Wednesday, council members directed city staffers to spend a minimum of $4.7 million per year on road maintenance. The city has been spending about $1.7 million annually, and was slated to continue spending that amount.

“In the past, we have neglected the basic core functions of the city,” said Mayor Sam Abed, vowing to shift Escondido’s priorities.

Abed said he was embarrassed when a recent survey of regional road quality conducted by San Marcos found that Escondido had the worst roads in the region.

Ed Domingue, the city’s public works director, said Escondido’s roads would be even worse without some one-time state and federal grants the city received during the last four years.

Those grants boosted spending on road maintenance to an average of $3.5 million per year, including $5 million during the fiscal year that ends June 30.

Without the sharp increase in road maintenance money that council members approved Wednesday, Escondido would face a steadily increasing percentage of crumbling roads.

Projections created by city staff show that 42 percent of Escondido’s roads would be in failing or serious condition by 2029 if annual maintenance and paving expenditures remained at $1.7 million.

Things would get worse at the same level of expenditure because crumbling roads cost much more to repair and maintain, Julie Procopio, assistant director of public works, told the council Wednesday.

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Some of San Diego’s Worst Sidewalks

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Feb 212013
 

The Stumblr is a blog devoted to documenting some of the worst sidewalks in San Diego, California.  Some of these sidewalks would make for good X-Games ramps.

badsidewalk

See more bad San Diego sidewalks here…

City cruises toward Coast Highway revamp

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Jan 282013
 

Source: Ray Huard, UTSanDiego.com

Pedestrians walk past th Vintage Collectables thrift store on South Coast Highway in Oceanside on Wednesday. (Source: UTSanDiego.com)

Oceanside — Time was, the 3.1 mile stretch of Coast Highway as it passes through Oceanside from Camp Pendleton to Carlsbad was the place to be.

People came to the scenic thoroughfare, then known as Hill Street, to buy new cars and to shop.

There was no Interstate 5, so travelers heading south would stop at one of the many restaurants that lined the highway for a leisurely lunch or dinner.

John Daley’s Café 101 was one of those restaurants.

“My restaurant was put in service 85 years ago to service the people on the highway,” said Daley, a lifelong Oceanside resident.

Café 101 looks much as it did in the 1950s, with a retro car hop feel to it, serving old fashioned milk shakes, steaming chili and comfort food to die for.

Outside, it’s a different story. .

The once thriving street is now a mishmash of used car dealerships, aging motels, service stations, auto supply stores and fast food restaurants.

Daley said as many as 50,000 people drive by his restaurant at the corner of Wisconsin Street every day, many using it as an alternate route when I-5 backs up.

“I don’t have any real benefit “ from the traffic, Daley said.

That may be changing.

In February, city officials will begin to search for a consultant to develop several proposals for reworking Coast Highway in hopes of spurring a revitalization of the once vibrant area along the roadway.

The study will probably take more than a year to complete and cost about $500,000, DiPierro said. He said the city is applying for a Caltrans grant to cover up to $300,000.

Long process

An ambitious “Coast Highway Vision Plan” — which was adopted by the City Council in 2009 but never implemented — talked of turning the road into a pedestrian-friendly and bicycle-friendly boulevard with charming shops and restaurants. There would be separate business and residential areas at both ends of the highway.

Continue reading…

Using GIS to Prioritize Sidewalk Installation and Repairs

 GIS, Infrastructure Management, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Walkability/ADA  Comments Off on Using GIS to Prioritize Sidewalk Installation and Repairs
Mar 212011
 

Sidewalk Installation Priority Map

So, you’re a public agency trying to improve the walkability of your community and you know you have a bunch of missing sidewalks.  You may have even gone through the process of identifying where the sidewalks are missing, how much you need to install, and how much it will cost.  If you are like most other agencies, you don’t have the resources to fix all your problems at once.  You need to establish a prioritization system that is credible and defendable…and one that will  maximize your available resources.

The example above shows the result of using ArcGIS to calculate sidewalk installation priority for the City of Rancho Cucamonga based on a number of factors.  These factors included various locations such as senior centers, bus stops, schools, and parks; and weighted the missing sidewalk links based on their proximity to these locations.  The number of riders at each bus stop were also taken into account.

Locations such as senior centers and bus stops were given the highest value due to liability concerns related to potential trip/fall accidents and the fact that most people who utilize public bus transit walk to the bus stop.  Yes, there are those who bike (or use a wheelchair) to get to the bus stop, but it is safe to assume that folks aren’t getting dropped off at the bus stop by a car- that would be somewhat contradictory.

Those segments that have the highest priority are shown in red, while those with the lowest priority are shown in blue.  Bus stops (hollow circles) and schools (pink polygons) were added for effect…adding the other feature classes takes away from the priority ranks symbology.

Current estimates show that about $7-$10 million is required to install sidewalks at all missing locations.  This cost will likely be spread out over a period of time, such as 10 years; with higher-priority segments being installed first.  Some interesting notes about this GIS utility are that it can take into account multiple other locations and can also be used to prioritize other municipal operations, such as trip/fall hazard repairs.