Tucson Has Some of the Worst Roads in the Nation

Outside of California, there's no big city with worse roads than Tucson.

TRIP, a transportation research group, says Tucson ranks fifth in the nation among large cities for highest percentage of roads in "poor" condition -- 53 percent.

Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego were the only big cities (population more than 500,000) to beat out Tucson, and out of smaller cities, only Antioch, California, and Reno, Nevada, had a higher percentage.

If you've been to Tucson at any time over the last decade, this probably isn't surprising.

The TRIP report estimates that 27 percent of all the nation's major urban roads are in "substandard" condition, meaning Tucson's about twice as bad as the national average. Phoenix was right around average, with 30 percent of its roads in poor condition. This was all done using 2011 Federal Highway Administration data.

TRIP says these roads "provide an unacceptably rough ride to motorists."

The organization estimates that these roads cause car owners to pay for more vehicle repairs, and figures that Tucson has the seventh-highest vehicle operating costs in the nation.

But here's the good news (and by "good," we mean "bad"): "A 2010 U.S. Department of Transportation report found that the nation would need to increase annual funding for road and highway improvements by 21 percent to keep them in their current condition, by 51 percent to make a modest improvement in overall conditions and by 91 percent to make significant improvement to their condition," the report says.

It always seems like half of Tucson's roads are under construction at any given time, but apparently not -- at least, not enough to make an improvement.

Check the report out for yourself here. Information specific to Arizona can be found here.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley