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Monday, April 18, 2011

Call Ed Lee 'Mayor Pothole' -- 90 Percent Are Filled on Time

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 8:01 AM

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New York's Alphonse D'Amato was once known as "Senator Pothole" for his attention to constituent minutiae. But we wonder whether his attentiveness ever earned a reward like this one: San Francisco has marked a 200 percent improvement when it comes to filling potholes on time.

In February 2010, the Department of Public Works filled 30 percent of potholes within 72 hours --  apparently the gold standard of swift street smoothing. But under Mayor Ed Lee's watch, the city did even better this February, filling 90 percent of potholes within three days, according to the City Controller's Government Barometer report.

In other government measurement news, crime is down. No, really, it's down. According to the latest report:

Incidents of serious violent and property crimes showed strong improvement in February 2011 from the

previous period (December 2011). Serious violent crimes declined by 19.7 percent to 44.1 per 100,000

population; serious property crimes declined by 13.5 percent to 290.5 per 100,000 population. 

However, waiting times at public clinics are not so good:

Average wait time at the Department of Public Health's (DPH) clinics for routine new patient primary care

appointments increased to 38 days, compared to 13 days in Dec. 2010 and 25 days last February. These

wait times are well within the 60-day maximum wait time goal set by Healthy San Francisco. In part due

to the economy, DPH's clinics have seen an increase in different types of new patients, including Healthy

San Francisco, Healthy Workers, and Medi-Cal enrollees. DPH's continued efforts to reduce wait times

include: increasing available exam room space, hiring new providers and expanding clinic hours. 

More people are applying and getting food stamps -- no surprise, since we are in year four of a grinding economic downturn.

Current active Non-Assistance Food Stamps (NAFS) caseload increased by 22.6 percent from the prior year.

This is due, in part, to continued outreach to eligible participants, with most growth coming from families

and children, and the rollout of Benefits SF, a 24/7 online-application process. NAFS is supported at 85 percent

to 100 percent with State/Fed revenues; participants are means and asset tested prior to entry. 

Muni complaints are up (again, no surprise) -- and that number was calculated before news broke that a Muni driver was caught texting while driving a busload of passengers on Divisadero Street.

Average daily number of Muni customer complaints regarding safety, negligence, discourtesy, and

service delivery increased by 6.1 percent from the prior period, but decreased by 36.1 percent from February 2010.

Construction was down month to month -- a relatively meaningless statistic, given that one big building can goose the numbers dramatically.

 Value (estimated cost, in millions) of construction projects for which new building permits were issued

declined 63.8 percent from December 2010, but increased by 54.2 percent from the prior year. This measure is highly

variable due, in part, to seasonal fluctuations and lumpiness of high-dollar value permits.

Our verdict: Not a bad month, all in all, particularly for those running worn-out shock absorbers.

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