By Dave Schwan
Over just the past few years various city councils have approved quite a few high density apartment developments: Platte Canyon & Mineral, County Line near Santa Fe, Broadway & Dry Creek and more. These developments have added significant new residents and their vehicles being driven on city streets. Traffic and street maintenance have been top concerns for Littleton residents for years and yet council has been more concerned with increasing compensation, adding employees and increasing the frequency of the Littleton Report than maintaining the streets and dealing with the ever worsening traffic.
In the 2014 Littleton Resident Survey, respondents indicated that traffic and street maintenance were the among the most pressing issues facing the city and had become even greater issues since the 2012 survey.
The great need for street maintenance is supported by the 2015-16 Littleton Community Scorecard. That report indicated that Littleton street pavement is among the worst in the state. Littleton ranked 4th lowest compared with 22 other selected cities in Colorado. See above chart.
The Pavement Condition Report Index (PCI) is the industry standard for grading street quality. According to the report the goal should be from 70 to 75 PCI. Littleton’s streets rated 66, compared with Greenwood Village rated 78 & Centennial rated 75.
Yet, Littleton spends only about $1.4 million annually on street maintenance. It would require $3.15 million annually to reach the industry standard and address a growing maintenance backlog. 41% of Littleton’s streets rated “fair” to “very poor. That means that these roadways may require progressively heavier or thicker reconstruction which will be substantially more expensive.
Oddly, the city of Littleton has increased annual funding for street maintenance by just $400,000
Instead the city is spending $6,610,090 on the following:
- $1,687,000 to increase the city’s long-term total compensation plan
- $50,000 to hire an assistant city attorney in addition to the current full-time attorney
- $145,000 to double the number issues of the Littleton Report promotes how well city government is doing, and to develop an online newspaper
- $465,000 for even more downtown “Wayfinding Signage”
- $102,560 to hire a programmer/analyst for the Information Services Department
- $126,810 to hire a system/database administrator for the Information Services Department
- $68,140 to increase Human Resources staff
- $2,305,000 to replace of existing portable and mobile radios for the police, fire and public works departments
- $647,080 to add seven employees to staff Medic 10
- $1,013,500 to fund fire projects
Reviewing the 2015 city general fund expenditures even parks & recreation rates greater spending than street maintenance.
You might ask your council members, “What about our streets?” Go to littletongov.org for council member contact information.