Fixing Our Roads
Larkspur Residents Want Pothole Relief
Recent survey gives City good job ratings, comprehensive input on resident priorities
A recently-commissioned independent survey shows residents in the City of Larkspur give the City good job performance ratings, and want the City to accelerate street, road and pothole repair as its top priority.
The survey, conducted February 17th– March 1st 2017 by the respected firm of FM3 Research, was commissioned to assess current resident perspectives on community priorities and service needs. Respondents continue to give the City consistently positive overall job ratings, with a strong majority of more than 2 to 1 giving the Larkspur excellent or good performance rankings.
As much as 85% of respondents identified “repairing streets, roads and potholes,” as being the top priority, followed by maintaining police/fire protection and 911/emergency response services and repairing storm drains to prevent contaminated spills into the Bay.
“We greatly appreciate the time our residents took to give us this important feedback,” said Larkspur City Manager Dan Schwarz. “Our goal is to incorporate these perspectives into this year’s budget planning process so our financial strategies reflect the community’s priorities.”
Said Public Works Director Julian Skinner, “I am not surprised by this helpful input from our public. When I am out in the community, people tell me they want the City to make pothole and road repairs faster—and I agree. Doing so prevents further deterioration and lowers our future maintenance costs. Unfortunately, many of Larkspur’s neighborhood streets are still riddled with cracks and potholes and we must address these hazardous conditions so our motorists, public transit, and public safety vehicles are not at risk.”
The City commissioned the survey to get input on resident satisfaction with city services, service priorities, and community perspectives on renewing voter-approved local Larkspur funding. The survey indicated the public would support renewal of Larkspur’s existing voter-approved funding program at percentages as high as the low 70 percentiles (for a simple majority requirement measure) to continue to address infrastructure needs and vital services.
The City regularly surveys its residents to measure satisfaction and to gauge community priorities as it relates to City-provided services. The last survey taken was in 2013.
“Police and fire services, pothole/road maintenance and disaster preparedness are essential to maintaining our safety and quality of life,” continued Schwarz. “It’s incredibly helpful to know that residents not only value these services, but want more of them. We are working on a plan to make accelerating street infrastructure repair our top priority, and we look forward to keeping the community informed.”Survey Findings Summary
ROADS REPAIRS COMPLETED FOR FISCAL YEAR 15-16:
The City's annual street repair project is now complete! The following streets were repaired during May - July 2016.
- Bretano Way (Eliseo Drive to Via Hermosa
- Dartmouth Drive (Tulane Drive to Harvard Drive)
- Larkspur Plaza Drive (Doherty Drive to end
- Madrone Avenue (Onyx Road to Magnolia Avenue)
- Magnolia Avenue (Woodlark Apts/Private Driveway to Dartmouth Drive (northbound land)
- Magnolia Avenue (from Park Way to Bon Air Road) - isolated digouts
- North Almenar Drive (#261 to end)
And, even bigger thanks to our citizens for their generous support through Measure C, and their patience during construction.
Construction Related Documents for Pavement Project
The FY 2015-16 pavement project went out for public bidding in Sep 2015. The following documents are available for viewing.
We want to repair every road in Larkspur, but that will take time. In a given year, roads are selected by evaluating:
- their level of deterioration;
- how heavily they are used;
- and whether there is an opportunity to partner with utilities and other entities that want to do road work in the area this year. Partnering with utilities allows us to get a road repaired for fewer Larkspur dollars, leaving more money to spend on other roads.
Larkspur is committed to improving the safety and quality of our roadway system. In recent years, the City Council has taken steps to increase revenues and direct monies to our roads.
Vehicle Impact Fees (VIF)
The City has fees, called vehicle impact fees (VIF), in place that charge garbage and large construction trucks for their impact to our roads.
Partnering with Utility Agencies
The City coordinates with utilities such as RVSD, MMWD and PG&E, for their improvement projects that require road excavation. These agencies pay the City for in-lieu pavement restoration fees, which are then applied to future year's pavement project. Partnering with utilities allows us to get a road repaired for fewer Larkspur dollars, leaving more money to spend on other roads.
In November 2013, the citizens of Larkspur approved Measure C, an increase of a half-cent to our general sales tax revenue. The Measure C half-cent sales tax went into effect on April 15, 2014.
City Council adopted a policy to expend a minimum of 80% of Measure C funds toward pavement maintenance. Each year, a Citizen's Oversight Committee works with City staff to recommend a specific funding level for the coming year.
For Fiscal Years 2014-15 and 2015-16, the funding level is 95% of Measure C revenue. (The other 5% is being used to establish a fund for the Fire Department to work with property owners who live on our hillside roads and have vegetation that is a fire threat and affects the ability for vehicles to pass.)
The strategy on road maintenance for use of Measure C funds is, "direct use of funds only to repair aging and deteriorating neighborhood streets and roads, repair potholes, clear hazardous and flammable brush to prevent fires and improve emergency vehicle access, and maintain police and fire protection."
Background Information on Measure C (http://www.cityoflarkspur.org/MeasureC).
Source of Funding
- Measure C (estimated to be $1.1MM for roads in FY15-16)
- Construction Vehicle Impact Fee (FY15-16 estimate $75,000, dependent on building permits)
- Refuse Vehicle Impact Fee (FY15-16 $389,000)
- Utility agency partnering (approximately $105,000 in FY15-16 from RVSD)
- Measure A & B Allocation for local roads and infrastructure (has been used in past years. No allocation for FY15-16)
How are funds used
Roadway and infrastructure maintenance funds from the above referenced funding sources are used to maintain pavement, storm drains, street signs and pavement markings, and concrete in the public right of way.
Funds are used for engineering, permitting, staff time, city crews to repair streets and storm drains, contractors to perform work and inspection and testing services.