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You're Not Crazy: There Really Is a Ridiculous Amount of Street Construction Going on Lately
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons and DPW | July 31, 2013
And guess what: You asked for it.
Balboa. The Great Highway. Bayshore. San Bruno Avenue. Broadway. California. Maybe even your own block. If it seems like there's way more street construction than normal in San Francisco these days, it's not just your imagination. There really are a ton of projects going on around town. And we asked for them.
San Francisco voters passed a $248 million Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond on the November 2011 ballot—and we are just now reaching a crescendo on that spending. According to the Department of Public Works, the bond-funded street improvement projects funded started in March of 2012 and will continue over the next two years. But the shovel-ready projects didn't go into full swing until recently. In May, DPW director Mohammad Nuru, published a post on Tumblr that said that the City is paving ten blocks a week, building 1,700 ADA-compliant curb ramps, and renovating 200,000 square feet of sidewalks. That's all in addition to two dozen major street projects, like ones along Castro, Taraval, Fell, Oak, Irving, and Potrero.
That's a huge uptick in street work. According to DPW's most recent budget, spending on infrastructure design and construction has increased to almost $40 million—up from $25 million in 2011. A review of DPW reports dating back to 2002 found that in the past decade, on average, the Ccty paved just a little under 300 blocks per year (the least was 154 from 2003-2004 and the most was 427 in 2010-2011). This year, however, DPW is on pace to pave a whopping 800 blocks, according to Nuru's update. (You can find out more about the way that DPW is spending the bond money, including a schedule of projects, on their website.)
Remember, none of this counts as private construction. And we don't need to remind you how much of that has been going on these days: According to SPUR, 26 cranes currently dot the City's skyline. On top of that, there are several major public projects ongoing, including the Transbay Terminal and the Central Subway buildout through Chinatown.
That headache you're feeling, it's not the stress—it's the sound of too many jackhammers.