Show us the data! DC Government metrics (and comparing DC's presentation to the City of Los Angeles)
DC's Department of Transportation is not happy that an infrastructure investment campaign website for the White House says that 95% of DC's roads are in poor condition.
There's no question that the White House data is wrong, as a bicyclist I have a pretty good sense of road quality. While there are many high quality roads in the city in terms of pavement quality, there are many roads in seriously poor condition--which can be hyper dangerous for bicyclists, compared to the ride capabilities of a typical motor vehicle.
DDOT counters the White House with a statement based on data using an industry standard measurement system, the Pavement Condition Index (PCI), that says 75% of DC's roads are in fair, good, or excellent condition. See their blog entry, "Three-Quarters of District Roads Are in Fair to Excellent."
First, fair grades, generally considered to be from 26% to 50% aren't considered passing grades.
Second, DDOT isn't providing access to the underlying data, except for summary data, which at least through 2010, doesn't support the DDOT statement, except for the fact that DDOT includes "fair" grades now, when the grades for "good" and "excellent" for most of the city's roads (1016 miles out of 1030) didn't top 58% as of 2010.
While two of the buttons do a great job on providing access to a great deal of information, the other four do not. (I first wrote about this in 2010, in "DC DDOT transportation access portal doesn't really say anything.")
One of the "other four" buttons concerns road pavement quality. It lists a summary quality score of 64%, but the only data provided to support the claim is four years old, and doesn't back up the claim if you do a calculated weighted average of the reported data.
On the other hand, the City of Los Angeles has a very good metrics webpage, much better than DC's, and for road pavement quality data too.
You can even drill down within the Los Angeles data on a block by block basis, which is far more useful than the data presented by DDOT.
This comes up too, because for awhile there, I was thinking about running for Ward 4 position on DC City Council, figuring that Muriel Bowser will win the Mayoral election, and that I might have a shot in a special election, because the voting conditions are much different than normal, where I would have no chance.
Anyway, I decided not to do it (meeting with people reminded me how much I dislike the people who are into campaigns, plus other people, even those who hold or have held elective office told me it's very difficult to "move a Council to better decision making" and that I could have more effect doing other things), but I had been developing an ideal ward-focused Councilmember platform, and one of the elements would be developing and publicizing ward-specific metrics, including road pavement quality, sidewalk gaps, bike path pavement quality, litter survey data, etc.
Pavement condition measurement for a particular street in Los Angeles, from the City of Los Angeles Performance Metrics website.
(That ward-specific platform is only in outline form now. I will expand it into a position paper of some sort.)