More than one in four Dallas roads are in bad shape, according to a city survey of 11,700 miles of road.
Those streets took center stage at today’s Dallas City Council meeting. Council member Tennell Atkins says the issue is overwhelming – and he wants a city task force to study solutions for not just roads, but alleys too. More than half of alleys don’t get a passing grade from the city.
"Let’s identify all of these streets, find out how we’re going to fix these streets and make sure one neighborhood isn’t more important than another neighborhood," says Atkins. "If you can’t get out of your alley to the street, what are you going to do?"
There isn’t nearly enough money to improve all of the city’s roads. The city's goal is to have 87 percent of streets get a passing grade. If funding for street repairs doesn't change, the survey estimates that only 69 percent of streets will have a passing grade by 2017.
City officials proposed some ideas this afternoon to raise funds.
A 2017 bond election could include $650 million for street improvements, although that wouldn’t cover everything. The city could also boost sanitation and water fees to pay for repairs and improvements or spend more money each year from the general fund.
Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates says she fields lots of phone calls about poor road conditions from residents in her district.
"I know we’ve had a bad winter and the potholes have contributed to that," Gates says. "The message here is they are declining that quickly and unless we really adopt some of these policy changes that you’re recommending regarding funding, it’s going to continue to move in that direction."
In last year's citizen survey, street repair was the top priority for 68 percent of Dallas residents.
By the numbers:
- 3,221 miles of streets got a failing grade from the city.
- 87 percent of streets need to be considered ‘satisfactory.’
- 76 percent are currently passing.
- $90 million is need to improve one percent of streets, or 209 miles of road.
- $750 million is need to bring alleys to 100 percent passing.
- 55 percent of alleys are currently considered ‘satisfactory.’