Orinda has 123 miles of roads.  93 miles of these roads are public roads maintained by the City and 30 miles are private roads maintained by the residents living on those roads with, for the most part, no participation by the City.

The City breaks its roads down into classifications by usage

   • Arterials - the most heavily traveled roads
   • Collectors - transition between residential streets and arterials
   • School Routes - not used enough to be considered collectors but with higher priority for repair
   • Residential Streets

One quarter of Orinda's residential streets (30 miles) are privately maintained by the residents.  These residents pay the same taxes as their neighbors on publicly maintained roads; and they pay the same garbage rates which generate $385,000in franchise fees; but they receive no public support to maintain their streets.

Up until 2012 the people living on the 64 miles of publicly maintained Residential Streets received little public support to maintain their streets.  In May 2008, the City's Citizens Infrastructure Oversight Commission (CIOC) presented to the City Council a recommendation that prioritized repairs and maintenance towards the City's most highly utilized streets (designated "Common Roads" in the table below).  The City Council accepted their recommendation.  This was a logical recommendation as over 90% of all vehicle miles driven in the City is on these 29 miles of roads.  Proper utilization of our scarce tax dollars demands that these streets be maintained first and best.

However, starting with a half cent sales tax passed in 2012 and projected to produce $10 million in revenue over ten years, plus bond measures in 2014 and 2016 generating an additional $45 million, most of the city's 64 miles of residential streets should be improved to acceptable levels by 2019.

However, when the roads are repaired, they will then have to be maintained.  A 2016 engineers report stated the the city should spend $3.5 million per year to maintain its current 93 miles of public roads.  The city currently has only $1 million in its budget for roads and the city policy remains that this will be spent on Arterials and Collectors.  The city will have to vote in more new taxes to maintain its residential street system that its has spent tens of millions to improve.  Will the majority of voters understand that is is in their best interest to tax themselves for this?  What about the private street residents who so far have been denied a share of the tax dollars they pay?

  Miles Poor
or Failed 
Arterials 11 0.6 5%
Collectors 15 4.5 9%
School Routes 3 1.0 3%
    Common Roads 29 6.1 17%
Residential Streets 64 37.3 63%
    Total Public Roads 93 43.4 80%
Private Streets 30 n/a 20%
     Total Road System 123 100%