Part of the Bay Area News Group

Second worst, three times over

By Jonathan Morales
Thursday, December 17th, 2009 at 3:11 pm in Orinda.

How bad are Orinda’s roads? The total cost to fix them (and the storm drains underneath) in the next five years is $73 million, according to the city’s Citizens’ Infrastructure Oversight Commission.

But if that number still doesn’t give you a good grasp on the problem, here’s another way of looking at it.

The way roads are rated by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional transportation planning agency, is by using a system called pavement condition index, or PCI. It’s a scale of 0-100, and higher is better.

In the MTC’s most recent PCI report, from January of this year but measuring road conditions in 2007, Orinda scored the lowest in Contra Costa County, 47, putting it in the “poor” category. That’s also the second lowest in the entire Bay Area, ahead of Sonoma County.

For comparison, Lafayette’s roads are rated 70, or “good,” and Moraga’s roads are rated 60, or “fair.” The city with the best roads in the Bay Area is Brentwood, which scored 84, or “very good.” The Bay Area average is 65.

And then there’s this story in the San Francisco Chronicle, which says the Bay Area has the second-worst roads in California, behind Los Angeles. California in turn has the second worst roads in the country, behind New Jersey.

So how bad are Orinda’s roads? They are the second-worst roads in the second-worst regional road network in a state with the second-worst roads in the nation.

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