Tucson's roads some of the worst in the nation, new report says - Tucson News Now

Tucson's roads some of the worst in the nation, new report says

Poor road conditions also mean frequent car repairs for many drivers. (Photo by Paige Hansen) Poor road conditions also mean frequent car repairs for many drivers. (Photo by Paige Hansen)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson roadways are among some of the worst in the nation, according to a report released Thursday by "TRIP," a national transportation research group. According to TRIP, 53-percent of major roads in the Tucson urban area are in poor condition.

Not only does Tucson have the fifth worst roads in the nation, but the report also says ranks Tucson 7th in the annual cost to motorists of driving on rough roads. The report says Tucsonans pay $723 each year in additional vehicle operating costs, nearly twice the national average.

Rough roads help auto repair shops such as Parker Automotive on Tucson's eastside.

"Blown out tires, a lot of shock problems, wheel bearing problems, which we haven't done here until recently it seems like we've been doing a lot," Shane Parker of Parker Automotive said. Parker says many drivers are frustrated after hitting a pothole and blowing a tire. New tires cost an average of $150 each while suspension repairs can run up to $1,000 depending on severity of the damage.

The condition of our roadways are something of which many Tucsonans are well aware.  "You drive down it vibrates you," Todd Recca said. "Gives you some kidney punches."

Jimmy Ledbetter, a Tucson driver describes the roads as "terrible" adding, "Everybody needs to probably get a front end alignment after a month of driving here."

Cost to drivers is one of the arguments local business leaders are making when it comes to convincing taxpayers that change is needed. At a news conference Thursday, Ron Shoopman, president of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council said poor transportation infrastructure deters economic growth. To build new roads and repair old ones, Shoopman says additional financial investment is needed.

"You'll hear talk about gas tax, user taxes," Shoopman said. "Everything should be on the table. We need to figure out how to fund this stuff. ADOT statewide is to the point now where they can't build any new roads, they're only able to maintain what we have."

It could be a hard sell, with some, like Recca saying, "I think what they should do is manage the money we give them better."

But others say they'd be willing to invest for a better outcome in the long-run. "I don't mind paying more if we eliminate the waste," Ledbetter said.

To view the entire report, "Bumpy Roads Ahead: America's Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother" visit the following link: http://tripnet.org/docs/Urban_Roads_Release_National_100313.pdf 

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