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City using laser-equipped van to find the worst roads in San Diego

the City of San Diego is using two road assessment vans to evaluate all paved roads in the city.
Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 06, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two white vans will be roaming the streets through the City of San Diego for the several more months searching for the worst paved-roads in the city.

The city's Transportation Director, Bethany Bezak, calls these road assessment vans, the ARAN vehicles, a "proactive" step towards addressing road conditions in San Diego.

"It's money well spent so that we can figure out where best to put our maintenance dollars and our repaving dollars next year," said Bevak.

The van is equipped with lasers and camera in order to help categorize thousands of miles of road through the city as "good", "fair", or "poor".

A spokesperson for the City of San Diego says in-part:

... the OCI score provides a metric that is used along with with other factors, such as traffic volume, road type, maintenance history, equity, climate resiliency, other construction projects, and available funding. Repairs are often grouped within a neighborhood to include streets that are in similar condition or performed after other projects, such as pipeline replacement.
The City of San Diego

On Thursday, the van drove down a stretch of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard with several visible potholes and cracks in the pavement.

Potholes like these have been at the top of mind for many in the City of San Diego, especially after higher-than-average rainfall.

"We're bobbing and weaving between the potholes, which is unsafe as it is," said Karen Moss, who has lived in San Diego for her entire life.

As Bezak explained, the road assessment van cannot operate when roads are wet.

On Thursday morning, Mayor Todd Gloria addressed the road condition during a briefing and said the city has lost 70 days of opportunity to pave roads due to weather recently.

"All of this rain that we've had over the past winter has really caused havoc on our road surface, so it helps us have the best data set possible," said Bezak.

The timeline for repairing roads "develop as we use all this information to plan, prioritize and budget for our resurfacing program year over year," according to the city.