How was my street’s pavement condition index (PCI) calculated?
All 830+ miles of streets in Oakland are divided into “paving segments.” Paving segments are segments of streets that are relatively uniform in pavement structure (i.e. asphalt vs concrete), age, traffic volume, and type of traffic (i.e. trucks, buses, and/or autos). Within each paving segment, there are various smaller “inspection units.” Inspectors personally visits each paving segment to record the severity and quantity of each distress type present in each inspection unit. Inspectors review inspection units on each street that offer a representative sample of the street—they specifically do not review areas that are uniquely good or uniquely bad along a street segment. Then, using all the inspection units for the paving segment, a composite rating index is calculated to create the Pavement Condition Index (PCI).
PCI is a numeric grade that scores the condition of a street on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being the worst and 100 being the best. Any street with a PCI under 50 is considered in poor condition. Because the PCI is a composite of all the inspection units in a paving segment, the overall PCI could increase year over year due to inspection units which were recently patched. Similarly, a segment’s PCI could decrease year over year due to new damage, including utility cuts. Potholes are only one type of pavement distress that inspectors catalog. Inspectors also measure raveling, rutting, block cracking, depressions, linear cracking, alligator (fatigue) cracking, and water bleeding and pumping. Most of these types of pavement distress can lead to potholes because they allow water to permeate the pavement and cause damage to the base layer beneath.
How was the decision made to prioritize based on equity?
The paving plan prioritizes local streets based on a combination of street condition and equity factors. This follows two pieces of legislation and the Oakland Department of Race & Equity's Oakland Equity Indicators report. The 2016 Infrastructure Bond Ordinance established the following evaluation framework for projects funded by the bond: a) how the projects address social and geographic equity and provide greater benefit to underserved populations and in geographic areas of greatest need; b) how the projects address improvements to the City's existing core capital assets; c) how the projects maintain or decrease the City's existing operations and maintenance costs; and d) how the projects address improvements to energy consumption, resiliency and mobility. Then in 2018, the City Council adopted a Capital Improvement Program Prioritization Process, which established nine factors that would be used to prioritize the City of Oakland’s Capital Improvement Program. The areas receiving the most scoring weight included equity, health and safety, existing conditions, and economy.
Findings from the Oakland Department of Race & Equity’s Oakland Equity Indicators Project demonstrate broad disparity in services, resources, outcomes, and opportunities among underserved Oaklanders. Based on this, staff reviewed recent demographic data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey (ACS) to identify underserved populations. The definition of underserved populations is a population and/or community that have experienced historic or current disparities, reflected in the Oakland Equity Indicators report and consistent with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission equity analyses. This definition includes people of color, low-income households, people with disabilities, households with severe rent burden, people with limited English proficiency, and youth/seniors. These data points were used to help prioritize repaving based on underserved populations.