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N4T Investigators: Repair Responsibility

TUCSON – Some people are frustrated that nobody is taking responsibility for fixing some Tucson roads.

George Hurd complained to the City of Tucson about potholes on Stocker Drive and Bowline Road.

“I think somebody is not doing their job right,” Hurd said. “I don’t know who it is, but this road needs to be fixed.”

The roads lead to an Arizona Motor Vehicle Division office, which serves 10,000 to 14,000 customers per month, and a Department of Environmental Quality emissions testing location, which checks 7,000 to 8,000 vehicles per month.

The city is not responsible for maintenance of the streets.

The nonprofit 22nd Street Business Plaza Lot Owners Association was created in 1987, and it is responsible for the maintenance, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

City Engineer Fred Felix is not surprised by the confusion.

“It’s typical of many of the roads that we have throughout the city,” Felix said.

Representatives from ADOT, ADEQ and business owners did not have any further information on the lot owners association.

The city will take ownership of private streets. First, they are evaluated, and the city determines how much they will cost to maintain before they are accepted.

Privately maintained streets in Tucson
Privately maintained streets in Tucson

“We need to be fair to those business owners,” Felix said, “but we also need to be fair to the public in general.”

MapTucson website
MapTucson website

The city has an interactive map that can show privately maintained roads. Users need to click “Open the Layer List” on the left. Check the “Transportation” box and click the ‘+’ to expand the selection. Check the “Street Maintenance” box and expand that section. Check the “Private Streets” box. That will highlight the private streets green.

The MVD property is owned by the state.

The emissions testing property is owned by a company in Ohio. It is operated by an ADEQ contractor, Gordon-Darby.

There are 9 other privately owned lots adjacent to the streets, including a vacant lot.

“I’m retired, Air Force. Thirty-three years ago I retired,” Hurd said. “Hey, we always got it done. We didn’t shove it off to someone else. We didn’t do that.”

Sam Salzwedel

Sam Salzwedel

Sam Salzwedel is an investigative reporter at News 4 Tucson - KVOA.
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