Article City Forum Eva Spiegel

Local Streets and Roads Remain a League Priority in 2018

Eva Spiegel is communications director for the League and can be reached at

Over the past decade, California cities placed increasing transportation funding high on the list of the League’s legislative objectives. The focus on transportation infrastructure needs, which started in 2008 with the launch of the first Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment, remains a priority in 2018. Thanks to SB 1 (Beall, Chapter 5, Statutes of 2017), cities are now receiving double the amount of transportation dollars from the state to repair and maintain the local transportation system. Cities’ active engagement on transportation issues in 2018 will be vitally important on several fronts including documenting road improvements and protecting existing transportation funding.

Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Data Collection

One of the first opportunities to participate with the League in 2018 on transportation is by submitting your city’s street condition data for the upcoming Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment. Scheduled for release in the fall, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the biennial report that documents the local transportation system’s current status and the funding needed to bring streets and roads into good condition.

The survey, supported through a partnership with the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and regional transportation agencies, captures data from approximately 99 percent of the local transportation network statewide. Engineers conduct the technical study, which has been instrumental in raising awareness of the system’s shortfalls and ensuring that cities received funding through the successful effort to pass new transportation revenues under SB 1 in April 2017.

The survey uses a zero to 100 scale to measure the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). The 2016 report found that California’s local streets and roads had an average PCI of 65, which reflects a $70 billion unmet funding need over the next 10 years. Without the passage of SB 1, this unmet need would have grown by $20 billion with road conditions dropping to 56 on the PCI scale.

Every city and county in California received the survey in January. March 30 is the deadline for your city to submit its information. Surveys include a special code for each local agency and must be submitted with this identifying information through the interactive link provided in the original survey communication.

Previous editions of the report are available at

Awards Program Showcases Infrastructure and Transportation Best Practices

The upcoming Public Works Officers’ Institute & Expo, March 28–30 in Monterey, brings together city and county public works officers for educational sessions, networking and resource gathering. The conference emphasizes transportation infrastructure innovation through the annual Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards program.

The Save California Streets coalition (, which includes the League, CSAC, County Engineers Association of California and other organizations, sponsors the Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Awards. The awards highlight infrastructure programs and projects that demonstrate a significant improvement to a city or county’s streets and roads. Winning construction and rehabilitation projects utilize new technologies and sustainable features and use public resources efficiently to achieve maximum return on investment.

The awards do more than just celebrate the successes of the winning cities and counties. They also serve as a collection of best practices that other agencies can implement in their communities when moving forward on street repair and maintenance.

Each year, one city or county receives recognition as the overall winner. Additional awards are given in four categories:

  1. Efficient and sustainable road maintenance, construction and reconstruction;
  2. Complete streets;
  3. Safety or intelligent transportation system; and
  4. Efficient and sustainable bridge maintenance, construction and reconstruction.

It’s not too early to start thinking about projects in your city that may deserve a nomination for the 2019 award. The nomination period for the 2019 awards will open in October 2018 and close in January 2019. Articles featuring the winning projects from previous years can be found at (search for “Local Streets and Roads Project Awards”) and

This article appears in the February 2018 issue of Western City
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