Image: TrueStatement: “San Diego already has the eighth worst roads in the country and under the current plan at City Hall the roads will get worse,” mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio said in a televised debate hosted by KBPS on April 19.

Determination: True

Analysis: No topic boils the blood of San Diego residents more than the state of the city’s roads, according to a recent survey.

All four of the major mayoral candidates say they feel San Diegans’ pain. The candidates have put patching the city’s potholes at the top of their agendas. City Councilman Carl DeMaio has the most comprehensive plan of the four. He described the dilapidated state of the city’s roads clearly at a recent televised debate.

“San Diego already has the eighth worst roads in the country and under the current plan at City Hall the roads will get worse,” DeMaio said.

So is that true?

Last month, Mayor Jerry Sanders and the City Council approved a long-term plan for funding repairs and maintenance to roads and other infrastructure, such as buildings and storm drains. But the plan doesn’t go far enough to keep roads and other infrastructure from degrading further.

Without an average of $17 million more annually for the next five years, streets, storm drains and buildings will indeed get worse, as DeMaio correctly notes.

A national transportation group has ranked the region’s roads as the eighth worst in the country. The ranking comes in a 2010 survey. The study comes with a caveat for this situation. The survey ranked urban areas, not just cities, so state and federal roads were included in the analysis as were streets outside city limits. The city auditor and others have cited this report when evaluating the city’s roads and other statewide data backs up the comparatively shoddy condition of San Diego’s streets.

We’re rating DeMaio’s statement as True. He correctly described the city’s streets financial plan and used commonly cited comparative data. Though the survey he cited goes beyond city limits, his statement was broad enough to cover the nuance.

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Liam Dillon is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He covers San Diego City Hall, the 2012 mayor’s race and big building projects.

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5663.

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Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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