Money to Fix Our Streets
by Assemblymember Phil Ting
Anyone driving on 19th Avenue or Park Presidio Boulevard knows that our city’s roads
are in desperate need of repair. From major arterials to our residential streets, you can’t
drive anywhere in San Francisco without rattling your fillings.
On average, California’s drivers spend $762 a year on repairs for damage caused by road
conditions. This isn’t just a San Francisco or Bay Area issue. California ranks 48th in the
nation for the condition of our highways, and more than half of our state’s bridges need
repairs or replacement.
In total, it’s estimated that our state’s roads and bridges have $130 billion in deferred
While I’m glad that more fuel-efficient cars are on the road, gas tax revenue has
decreased since the last increase in 1994.
This past April, the California legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 1 on a bipartisan vote.
The legislation will raise more than $50 billion over 10 years through gas and diesel
taxes as well as vehicle license fees assessed based on the value of the vehicle.
Since 1994, the number of clean vehicles burning no gasoline or diesel fuel has
increased, so SB-1 assesses these vehicles an annual fee so they pay their fair share.
Funds raised by SB-1 will be split 50-50 between state highway and bridge repairs and
local projects to resurface streets and improve public transit, as well as pedestrian and
Projects funded by SB-1 will generate approximately 90,000 jobs a year while only
costing the average Californian less than 50 cents a day.
The west side will reap significant benefits from these new funds as San Francisco will
receive more than $23 million per year just for road resurfacing.
Additionally, funds for public transit and bicycling infrastructure and pedestrian safety
projects will increase total city funds from SB-1 to more than $60 million per year. Muni
will soon begin work to repair light rail lines, such as the N-Judah and L-Taraval, and
BART plans to use SB-1 funds to purchase new train cars, repair escalators and hire
more police officers and station cleaners.
Two major repaving projects will be on 19th Avenue and Park Presidio Boulevard,
otherwise known as State Route 1. After the city’s Department of Public Works finishes
work upgrading utilities and signals, Caltrans will pave the roads all the way from
the Presidio to the San Mateo County line. The project is scheduled to start next year and
be completed by 2021 or 2022.
Additionally, Lombard Street will be repaved from Van Ness Avenue to Richardson
Avenue starting next year, and Sunset Boulevard is a candidate for repaving in
2021 or 2022.
I understand that any increase in taxes or fees puts additional strain on those struggling
with the high cost of living in San Francisco, but without the revenues generated by SB-1,
our crumbling roads will only become worse. With more than $60 million a year of
additional revenue for San Francisco alone, we can finally start fixing those potholes
and repairing our transit infrastructure.
Phil Ting represents the 19th Assembly District at the California Assembly