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Pothole Report Card Finds Bay Area Roads Improving

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – A new report card from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission finds while many Bay Area roads are riddled with potholes, things are improving.

Ken Zowal of Fremont knows all too well how rough the roads can be in the Bay Area. "Caltrans paid for two new tires on this car," he said.

On Wednesday, the MTC released its yearly pothole report, giving the region a score of 67 out of 100, putting local roads in the "fair" category. It's the same score as last year, up by just a few points from 2003, when the score was 63.

"That represents a slow but steady, and I think, significant increase over the last five years," said MTC spokesperson John Goodwin.

The MTC sees it as moving in the right direction, as cities improve on making repairs. Officials said the biggest help came from a recent gas tax increase funneling billions to highway repairs and about $500 million to cities and counties.

"And that has really made a difference, so I think we'll see when the 2018 scores come out a year from now, an even greater improvement," Goodwin told KPIX 5.

Where are some of the best roads in the Bay Area? Dublin topped the list with a score of 85 out of 100, followed by Clayton and El Cerrito both tied at 84. Three cities tied with a score of 83: Brentwood, Colma and Palo Alto.

The worst roads in the Bay Area were found in the communities of Larkspur, with a score of 42, and Petaluma at 46.

Roads in San Francisco scored a 70, which puts it in the "good" category. Meanwhile, San Jose scored a 64.

KPIX 5 asked San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo if he was surprised to find out how his city's roads compared to those in San Francisco. "I'm not terribly surprised," the mayor responded.

On Thursday, Liccardo is expected to kick-off a campaign for Measure T, a $650 million bond that would help pay to repair some of the city's worst roads.

"We've got more than 4,000 miles worth of roads in San Jose. We know that many of those have not been repaved in decades. It's time for us to get to work," Liccardo said.

Officials are using the report to tell drivers that more money is needed to fix roads and to oppose Proposition 6, which would repeal the gas tax hike.

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