City officials survey San Diego’s streets every few years so they can figure out which places are most in need of repair. In November, they completed their latest survey and found citywide conditions have worsened.

The graphic above illustrates how much worse. In the last decade, the percentage of roads in poor condition more than doubled while the percentage of roads in good condition shrunk in half.

The city defines a good road as having little or no cracking. Fair roads have minor cracks or potholes that can be fixed with slurry seal or asphalt overlay. Poor roads, well, are anything worse.

Before the city released its findings, my colleague, Liam Dillon, investigated why San Diego’s roads have become bumpier in recent years and explained what city officials are doing about it. Though the city has set aside millions for road repairs, it’s struggled to spend that money and keep up with demand. (Check out our Reader’s Guide for an overview of the investigation.)

City officials are now trying to speed up their spending procedures so crews can repair streets faster. The November report about street conditions, penned by the city’s transportation department, sounded optimistic.

“The department believes this assessment represents the low point and that the next streets condition assessment will reflect the upward movement we all expect and desire and that our citizens demand and deserve,” the report says.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for He writes about public safety and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

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