One of every two county roads is littered with potholes and is in need of repaving, according to a report provided to Metro Public Works in October. While 47 percent of the county’s roads are in poor condition, just 22 percent are in excellent condition, according to the report.
Public Works officials say they were not caught off guard by the news and have a plan in place to aggressively begin patching potholes across the county next year. But even with a significant increase in the department’s paving budget by Mayor Karl Dean’s administration, Metro continues to fund only a fraction of what is necessary to keep the county’s roads in good shape.
Translation: the Mayor's Office increased the paving budget in the wake of 2010 flood damage but not nearly to the degree (alongside federal funds) that was needed in light of a 1,000 year catastrophe.
While the knock out blow might have been the Great Flood, the Metro budget has been pummeled by cuts since Karl Dean took office. Even when Public Works gets enough money to try to catch up, someone else's department is losing to compensate.
And if we cannot even raise enough money to patch potholes, how can we ever expect to implement complete streets projects that accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic in a more sustainable context?