#FixFriday: Vallejo, CA The Road to Improvement

vallejo-california

I recently connected with current partner, Courtney Schreiner, the Administrative Analyst for Vallejo, California. She was part of a citywide campaign to educate residents on the undertaking of certain street issues and to encourage them to report these issues using SeeClickFix. To help residents understand the difference between a pothole and major street damage - the city created this insightful document. This helped residents understand that an issue can look simple from the surface, but may have several in-depth steps before resolution.

The document also explains how Vallejo rates their streets using a PCI (Pavement Condition Index) rating. Streets are assigned a PCI rating between 0-100 and are assessed based on: funding available, traffic volume, surrounding area, and more.

"This campaign has helped residents understand what it takes to improve our streets, and they have told City Council through SCF and Participatory Budgeting that this should be a priority," Courtney stated. "We have received more funds to be able to address our street issues, although I am not sure I would say we have all the funds to fix all the damage. We do get enough money each year to keep our staff busy and get some serious improvements made."

Vallejo held Participatory Budgeting - which allowed residents to allocate $2-4 million to the project of their choice, using voter-approved tax money. After both cycles of funding, residents had voted to allocate nearly $1.5 million of the available funds to street and pothole repair.

Courtney concluded our conversation with: "Some staff did have concerns when we started the campaign – because they pride themselves on being able to provide great service to our residents, publicly sharing our difficulties with keeping up with potholes and street repair was very hard for them. It made for a culture change within our department."

In addition to communicating through SeeClickFix, Vallejo staff members are regularly posting photos of street repair on Facebook for residents to view.

Now, Vallejo workers are excited to give communication back to the citizens - and the citizens are happy to be part of the conversation ( -- example below!).