The city of Los Angeles is considered to have some of the mostly poorly maintained streets in the country. The city has been working to change that, but by its own reckoning, more than a third of L.A.'s roads are considered in poor condition — riddled with potholes, cracks and buckling asphalt.
The worst streets in the city aren't likely to be fixed anytime soon, as the city prioritizes fixes to streets in better condition.
Here's a breakdown of how the city grades its streets
The Bureau of Streets Services has what it calls a "Pavement Condition Index" based on a scale from 1 to 100.
Streets with a PCI of 71-100 are considered to be in "Good" condition.
- Within the "Good" category, streets with a PCI of 86 to 100 are given the letter grade A. That means the pavement is in good condition with no cracks, no oxidation of the asphalt and no failure of the base material below the pavement. The "A" streets need no road work.
- Streets with a PCI of 71 to 85 are ranked as "B" streets. The bureau says on these streets, "pavement is in satisfactory condition and exhibits minimal cracking, no oxidation and no base failure." These streets require no more work than a thin seal of asphalt and crushed rocks.
Streets with a PCI of 56 to 70 are considered to be in "Fair" condition.
All "Fair" roads are given a letter grade of "C." That means the pavement shows minimal cracking and up to 5 percent of the base material beneath the pavement is damaged. A layer of "asphalt concrete" 1 to 2 inches thick is required.
Streets with a PCI of 0 to 55 are considered to be in "Poor" condition.
Roads that fall between 41 and 55 are given a "D" letter grade. That means the pavement shows moderate cracking with damage to 6 to 35 percent of the base material. To fix, "D" streets, work crews must lay down a layer of asphalt concrete 2 to 2 1/2 inches thick.
The "F" streets (roads that have a 0 to 40 PCI) show "major or unsafe" cracking with damage to 36 to 50 percent of the base material. "Resurfacing of reconstruction of 6" to 12" of asphalt concrete required."
What differentiates a 'good' street from a 'poor' street?
It may not be immediately clear to average person. The Bureau of Street Services uses a van equipped with lasers, video, sensors and computers that assign a Pavement Condition Index or PCI score to every road segment in the city. It takes three years to cover all of Los Angeles.
The video below shows "Good," "Fair" and "Poor" condition streets along a stretch of Huntington Drive in the Montecito Heights neighborhood.
Given how the city prioritizes funding for street repairs, the "poor" streets are unlikely it to be fixed any time soon. Read out story here to find out why.
How does your street rank? Here's how to find out
The graphic below explains how you can find the condition of your own street at the Bureau of Street Services online assessment map. It's a little clunky and takes some time to load, but the city has mapped out a huge chunk of the city's streets, along with their grades.
Head to the city's street assessment map and enter your address to see how streets around you rate. It can be a little overwhelming, so here's a quick breakdown of how to use it:
The city also has a second map that just list the Pavement Condition Index, or PCI score.
Let us know!
We want to know how those street determinations differ. Check out how your street ranks in the city's map, then go out and snap a photo of it. Share it with us on Twitter or Instagram and tag us @KPCC using the hashtag #myLAstreet.