Bakersfield, Calif., Unveils Street Conditions Data, Interactive Map

The interactive map displays what condition experts think individual roads are in.

by DOROTHY MILLS-GREGG, The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, Calif.) / June 21, 2017

(TNS) -- It's time to match your opinion of Bakersfield, Calif.'s road conditions to the city's.

The Bakersfield Public Works Department has unveiled its city street conditions data online at the request of Ward 4 City Councilman Bob Smith.

Go to the interactive map and a colorful array of green, yellow, orange and red lines wiggle across your computer screen, telling you in how good or bad of shape experts think individual roads are. You can type in a street name to zero in on its condition.

"I thought it should be public information," Smith said.

The data came from a special vehicle that took pictures and calculated city streets' Pavement Condition Index, or PCI, about a year ago.

The city received an overall PCI of 69 — one step below "Good" — which means the road needs preventative maintenance. This is several points better than Kern County's overall PCI of 63. Shafter and Ridgecrest's ratings were among the poorest in the county.

Bakersfield Public Works Director Nick Fidler said city officials use the program to prioritize roads in terms of need for repair, maintenance and "full-blown construction."

"You try to capture it in yellow, or it's going to be more costly," Fidler said.

He also said the map, which will be updated by city staff as road work is completed, will be useful to track where the city spends the SB1 transportation tax money it expects to receive in November.

A future example will be California Avenue's condition, which will be updated after its reconstruction this summer.

Then the road condition program will estimate a street's deterioration as it ages after work's completed. However, the city will do another review of its streets and not just rely on the computer's estimates, which don't take into account wear from harsh weather conditions.

"This is a more scientific way to measure (road conditions)," Smith said.

The city has a 24-hour hotline for reporting potholes, 326-ROAD (7623), or they can be reported online via the city app or www.bakersfieldcity.us under the Public Works Department. There's another number, 326-3111, to call 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for reporting potholes.

The interactive map can be found at www.bakersfieldcity.us/gov/depts/public_works/streets/default.htm by clinking on the hyperlink titled "Pavement Condition Map."

©2017 The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.