It is generally good to aspire to be number one. Being on top is usually a sign of excellence and superiority. That is, unless you are on top of a list that has negative connotations. Regrettably, Tucson is at the top of the list when it comes to cities with pothole issues. In a report from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management for Making Action Possible (MAP), Tucson streets are the worst among 11 Western urban regions. This puts Tucson at the top of their pothole index.
Drivers throughout the Tucson area are reminded of the problem daily. Motorists have even learned to bypass certain roads to avoid costly damage to their vehicles. Local car repair and tire shops see the damage from the cracking roads weekly. It is not a new problem, but that doesn’t make it any less irritating, expensive, and potentially dangerous.
Tucson’s heat and torrential rains have historically created a constant challenge to keeping roads in good repair. With over 2,100 miles of roadways in Pima County, the battle is a never-ending one that absorbs millions of dollars.
Road Repair Funding
In 2012, voters approved a $100 million program that provides $17 million a year to significant road upgrades and another $3 million for roads in residential neighborhoods. That program ends in 2018. In May, however, voters passed a one-half percent sales tax increase that will ensure road repair funding. The sales tax is expected to raise about $250 million over its five-year span. About 60% of those funds are targeted for new vehicles for the Tucson Police and Fire Departments. The tax also will provide another $100 million for repair and upgrades of Tucson-area roads. The public clearly sees the need for improved public safety.
Getting Reimbursed for Damage from Pothole Accidents
The city has a program where drivers may get reimbursed for damage to their vehicles caused by potholes, but it is not without its problems. The necessary paperwork for reimbursement can be complicated and time-consuming. In addition, if the city hasn’t been previously notified of the existence of the pothole, it can deny responsibility for any damage caused. It is thought that as many as 80% of damage claims are denied.
Tucson Potholes Pose a Risk to Public Safety
While many of us view poor roadways as a nuisance, and even an expense, there is a more serious risk to poorly maintained roads. That is the risk of truck and car accidents, injury or death. Drivers can easily lose control of a vehicle when hitting or trying to avoid potholes. Motorcyclists are at an elevated risk. Even bicyclists and pedestrians can be injured as the result of poor roadways.
If you or someone you care about has been injured because a Tucson-area road was not properly maintained, you are encouraged to seek legal representation. An attorney who specializes in personal injury cases can help determine the role negligence may have played and where financial responsibility for injuries and compensatory damages may lie. Don’t wait, however. Contact an attorney as soon as possible after any incident involving damage or an injury that results from poor roadways.