Addressing poor or failing streets to be a top priority in San Antonio budget discussions

District 2 has the most need, and would receive the most funding

SAN ANTONIO – When San Antonio City Council members return from their break next month, the top issue on their agenda will be the city budget. Fixing roads and streets will be part of the discussion.

According to the Public Works Department, 11% of city streets are rated as failed, while 12% are in poor condition.

The highest percentage is District 2 on the East Side, where 17% of the streets are considered failed. That accounts for 76.87 miles. District 3 follows with 14% of streets and 63.5 miles that are considered failed.

Public Works is proposing $110 million in spending over each of the next two fiscal years to begin to address the issue of failing streets citywide.

District 2 would receive the highest percentage of that funding, both to address current needs and past inequities.

“You have to recognize that, for so long, the East Side was without,” said Jalen McKee-Rodriguez, councilman for District 2. “And so now, not only do we have to allot an equal amount, we also have to add in some of that cushion. We have to gain back from those losses.”

McKee-Rodriguez also wants to see the city create what he calls a street-lighting index in order to better allocate requests.

“That would identify what parts of the town are the darkest, where is crime happening, where are school zones and where are streetlights most needed,” he said. “Using this sort of index, we’d be able to say the East Side, the West Side, the South Side -- whatever parts of town need lighting the most, and start allotting funding for streetlights in that way.”

McKee-Rodriguez said his fellow council members seem receptive to the idea.

Overall, it would take more than $900 million to fix failed streets across the city, according to estimates.

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About the Author:

Samuel King anchors traffic during GMSA and reports on transportation and mobility issues across the San Antonio region. He joined the KSAT 12 news team in 2020 from KUT in Austin. Samuel was born in Queens, spent time growing up in South Alabama and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.