News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 07/09/2013
Subject :

Palo Alto Makes Progress On Street Improvements
Contact : Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer    650-329-2607
Palo Alto, CA – The overall condition of Palo Alto's streets has improved significantly over the past two years as increased budgets have allowed for additional street maintenance and repair work. More than 36 lane miles of Palo Alto streets have been resurfaced, and the annual funding for streets has been increased from $1.8 million in 2010 to $5.1 million in the current budget that began on July 1. 

The City's goal is to increase the average of what is called the Pavement Condition Index or PCI that measures the condition of street surfaces on a scale of 1 to 100. The rating is based on inspections of each street that are conducted every other year, and since 2009, the City’s average street score has improved from 72 to 77. The goal is to reach a citywide average score of 85 by 2019.

"We are starting to see a real difference in the sheer number of miles of street improvements," said Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff. "With the additional resources, we expect the community will really be able to notice the visible difference in the condition of our streets and sidewalks."

Starting in July, the City will begin work on projects including sidewalk replacement along school routes, improvements to 40 additional City blocks, as well as preventive maintenance of 31 lane miles of public streets. These improvements will be added to the significant progress the City has already made in street improvements that includes 36 lane miles of resurfacing just in the past 12 months.   

Projects slated to begin this summer include:

Concrete repair:  Starting in July, work will begin on 40 City blocks to repair and replace select sections of broken concrete slabs that can be hazards to both motorists and bicyclists. The project will repair both concrete and asphalt streets with concrete base foundations. Construction is expected to last for four months. Click here for a project street map. 
School route sidewalks: The goal of this project is to ensure that heavily used sidewalks surrounding Palo Alto schools are safe for walking and biking. The work closest to the schools is expected to be completed before school starts in August, with the remaining work to be completed by the end of the year. The planned work aligns with the Safe Routes to School program, and includes sidewalk routes within a ½ mile radius of schools including:

  • Addison Elementary School - 650 Addison Avenue
  • Barron Park Elementary School - 800 Barron Avenue
  • Briones Elementary School - 4100 Orme Street
  • Duveneck Elementary School - 705 Alester Avenue
  • El Carmelo Elementary School - 3024 Bryant Street
  • Escondido Elementary School - 890 Escondido Road
  • Walter Hays Elementary School - 1525 Middlefield Road
  • Jordan Middle School - 750 N. California Avenue
  • Terman Middle School - 655 Arastradero Road
  • Gunn High School - 780 Arastradero Road
  • Palo Alto High School - 50 Embarcadero Road
Work at the remaining six schools has already been completed or will be included in an upcoming sidewalk repair project.

Preventive Maintenance: This project seals the asphalt surface of streets that are currently in good condition and will extend the life of the road. It will seal 31 lane miles of Palo Alto streets. Prior to resealing, the project streets will receive asphalt spot repairs, crack sealing and striping removal. Click here for the project street maps.

Asphalt paving: This project will repave 10 lane miles of City streets with new asphalt.  It focuses on rehabilitating the streets that are in the worst condition, and is carefully coordinated with planned utilities projects. This year’s project is expected to include much of Forest Avenue and the Southgate neighborhood. Construction is anticipated to begin in summer or early fall.    

In addition to increased funding in its annual budget, the City has received an additional $2.5 million in federal grants over the past two years for street improvements. Palo Alto’s overall goal is to ensure that no street is in “poor” condition by 2019 (that means no streets with the PCI street index below 60), and to achieve “excellent” street conditions by 2019 (citywide average PCI of 85 or greater). For more information, please visit