City of Syracuse partners with Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council to assess more than 400 miles of roads

Syracuse, N.Y. – Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s data-driven approach to improving city government is hitting the roads. The City of Syracuse Department of Public Works (DPW) released a citywide “road ratings” map Tuesday, identifying and categorizing the condition of every public city-owned road.  Mayor Walsh earlier this year called in planners from the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC) to conduct the assessment. 

“We are making major improvements in our road reconstruction program.  With the support of the Syracuse Common Council, this year alone DPW increased the miles of roads repaved in the City by 67%,” said Mayor Walsh. “I think we can do even better, so the data we’ve collected with SMTC will help us prioritize our next projects and give the public a better way to participate in the process.”

2019 SMTC Road Ratings Summary
Rating Miles Percent
Excellent 47.079 11.99%
Good 152.120 38.73%
Fair 101.049 25.73%
Poor 89.394 22.76%

Mayor Walsh requested that SMTC planners conduct ratings on every block of every public City-owned road, including residential side streets representing approximately 400 miles of roads. Planners used a consistent rating scale and “windshield” survey process established by the New York State Department of Transportation.  Previously, SMTC has provided pavement ratings on city-owned roads that are eligible for federal funds, about 120 miles of roads.

The assessment ranked 50.72% of city roads in good to excellent condition.  It rated 25.73% of city roads as fair and 22.76% as poor.  The Department of Public Works will provide the Syracuse Common Council’s Public Works Committee with an overview of the findings at a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Noon.

A PDF version of the map showing the condition of all roads assessed is available here. Beginning in December, the SMTC will make available a public online mapping application that shows pavement scores along with a photo for all City roads. Clicking on a road segment on the map will allow a user to see that road segment’s condition and a photo taken on the segment.

“Having consistent pavement ratings across the road network will allow City Departments to make data-driven decisions for street repair, reconstruction, and preventative maintenance,” said James D’Agostino, SMTC director. “Continued teamwork and coordination between the City of Syracuse and the SMTC on this effort will help the City make the best pavement management decisions going forward based on actual observed field conditions.”

The SMTC ratings establish a baseline for future years to help monitor conditions and plan for investment, according to Corey Driscoll Dunham, chief operating officer for the City. The City will use the data to prioritize and budget road reconstruction for 2020. The City will also hold public information meetings in early 2020 to share the results of the report and collect resident input on prioritization.

The City expects to request the SMTC to complete the full citywide assessment every year.

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