September 16, 2010 5:17 PM
A few years ago I set out a five-year plan to substantially reduce the miles of substandard streets in Madison. I just got the most recent reports, and we're making good progress toward that goal.
Two years ago, 26% of Madison's arterial streets were in bad shape according to the objective "PASER" ratings developed by the UW and used by our Engineering Division. The percentage had already improved to 19% at the start of this year because of the projects we've done in the last couple of years, and it will be down to 15% at the end of 2011 if my proposed capital budget is approved. We now project we'll hit our goal of 10% as planned in 2013.
Good streets aren't just important from a standpoint of fewer potholes and car suspension repairs. They're important to alternative transportation as well. Rough streets can lead to disaster for a bicyclist, and they can increase wear and tear on our bus fleet. In addition, worn streets say something pretty negative about our city and our attention to the basics.
So, for everyone contending with all that construction going on this summer, take heart. Fall is on the way, the construction barrels will soon be gone and a smoother ride is on the way.