Private consultants say San Diego's streets and roads have gotten worse from wear since 2007.
That's when Mayor Jerry Sanders set a goal of having 75 percent of them in good shape before he leaves office late next year.
Last fiscal year, 40,000 potholes were repaired along San Diego's 2,800 miles of roadway.
On average, eight days pass from the time one is reported to the time it gets fixed, the consultants said.
But the potholes and cracks add up quickly; at one point in recent years, the backlog alone totaled 40,000.
"It's gotten horrible," said Mira Mesa resident Andrew Lux, after learning of the consultants' findings on Monday. "My dad's gone through two tires. My sister's gone through a tire. I mean, they're horrible. They need to fix all of them."
According to paving engineers hired by the city to conduct a four-month survey ending in June, 25 percent of San Diego's streets and roads are in poor condition -- up seven points from their last survey four years ago.
'Good' streets declined from 37 to 35 percent over that span, leaving them a long way from Sanders’ 2007 goal.
But the mayor -- who's borrowing $100 million dollars a year for repairs -- sees the numbers as misleading, because the earlier report only covered half of the city's total street network.
"If it was apples to apples, and you compared what we did last time, we'd be right at about the same percentage," Sanders said in an interview Monday. "But I think we're starting to make some headway, and we will with these bonds that we're putting out."
Unfortunately, the city's been behind the curve on spending that money in a timely fashion -- and came close to forfeiting some of it.
"There's no candor or explanation as to why some of these delays have happened," says Liam Dillon, city hall reporter for Voice of San Diego.org. "There's only after-the-fact apologies for why these things happen, and the apologies only come when someone catches them."
Transportation officials say the situation finally bottomed out, and suggest it's onward and upward from here.
But consider this cautionary note from Rancho Penasquitos resident Joshua Solis:
"The repairs are terribly done, in my opinion. Looks like they create a pothole and make a mountain out of it. Could be better by far. Could be much better."
The survey from the paving engineers cost the city $557,000.
On Wednesday, it goes to the Council's Land Use and Housing Committee as "an information item only" -- meaning no council or committee action is required.