Dallas has terrible streets. Ask any driver who hasn't been rendered prematurely senile by the constant jostling over disintegrating pavement or any cyclist who's survived a run-in with a man-eating pothole. Hell, ask City Hall, which estimates that it will take three-quarters of a billion dollars to get the city's roads back in decent shape. When you couple aging infrastructure with a long-standing municipal propensity to value shiny new hotels and bridges over nuts-and-bolts governance, this is what happens.
This ground has been well trod, and bitching about the general crappiness of the city's streets is a tired and unsatisfying exercise. But what if Dallasites could bitch about street crappiness with mathematical precision? To not only say, "Sweet Jesus, the potholes on Garland Road sure do suck," but to quantify the precise amount of suckiness those potholes contain.
Behold the Dallas Street Score Database. Search and you'll find the official score the city gives to every single block of every single street in all of Dallas. (BE SURE TO USE ALL CAPS.)
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The score, which the city calls the "Pavement Condition Index," is based on biennial sweeps by the city's street-scanning vehicle. The score is regularly updated in between sweeps by an algorithm that automatically reduces the score based on assumed wear and tear.
We'll try to update it every few months, at least until the city goes live with a planned interactive pavement-condition map. Mary Nix, assistant director of public works, says one is currently being developed.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.