Syracuse ‘road ratings’ map details road conditions throughout the city

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The City of Syracuse now has a citywide “road ratings” map, released by the Department of Public Works, detailing the conditions of every public city-owned road.

This construction year, DPW crews increased miles paved by 67 percent compared to 2018, but Mayor Ben Walsh wants to do better, and he thinks this map will help.

Courtesy: City of Syracuse

“It really helps us to make more data-driven decisions,” said Corey Driscoll Dunham, Chief Operating Officer of the city of Syracuse.

With no cost to the city, the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC) took 15,000 pictures of streets to help create the map, detailing which roads are in poor, fair, good, or excellent condition.

The survey follows the New York State Department of Transportation rating scale:

                                           Excellent 9-10 
Good 7-8
Fair 6
Poor 1-5

Turns out, 50.72 percent of city streets are actually in good or excellent condition.

Courtesy: City of Syracuse

“We’re using that data to hopefully come up with a formula we can use, not only that helps us prioritize but helps the citizens understand where the streets they most care about fall,” said Mayor Walsh.

Ideally, the city wants all streets to have a rating between 7-10, and this survey gives them a baseline to help prioritize future projects.

“[We are] looking at the conditions of the roads and comparing that to when they were last treated, looking at what treatments might help extend the lifespan of the roads,” said Mayor Walsh.

The city is still trying to determine how it can better engage the public, but come December, you’ll be able to go online and see which roads the city is zeroing in on.

“To be transparent in how we’re prioritizing, I think, I hope will make our citizens confident that we’re doing the most with our taxpayer dollars,” said Mayor Walsh.

They can’t fix every road overnight, so they’ll be looking at a number of factors before reconstruction begins.

“The amount of cars traveled on the road, whether it’s a primary route or a side street, but it can’t be an all or nothing proposition. We have to balance all those interests,” said Mayor Walsh.

“Make sure those limited resources are spent where they need to be spent, where the greatest need is,” said Driscoll Dunham.

The city is hoping each year, it will get a few miles closer to a smooth ride.

The city is also looking at different techniques to see what would be the best fit for the roads in our community.

“Right now we use granite, which is great and stands out really well with our climate and snowplows, but it’s really expensive,” said Driscoll Dunham.

“We’re looking at roads where we do slurry seal and if we reseal roads more often, will that allow us to wait longer before we do a full road reconstruction,” said Mayor Walsh.

The city will use the data to prioritize and budget road reconstruction for 2020. It will also hold public information meetings early next year to share the results of the report and collect input from neighbors in the community.

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