Potholes, Unpaved Roads Plague Tallahassee Residents

Students have received financial aid checks, but rather than rushing to the mall they are flooding local tire shops.

Tallahassee’s unpaved roads and massive potholes are damaging vehicles and students wallets.

“Whenever I drive over a pothole, I feel a major discomfort thinking that maybe I had just damage a part underneath my car,” said Kristal Francis, 20, a second year political science student from Miami.

“At first, the potholes didn’t bother me that much. But now, everyday there’s a pothole that I’m driving over and a couple of dollars out of my pocket.”

Bubby Thompson, a car mechanic at Tuffy Auto Service Center said there are consequences when it comes to driving over a pothole.

“Damages from a pothole can come from noticeable bends or dents in wheels, lost air pressure in tires, and damage in the alignment,” said Thompson.

“When you drive over a small pothole, you’re not expected to damage anything, but the large potholes and how hard the impact is determines the type of damage the pothole may have caused.”

Thompson also explained the price range drivers are expected to pay if there’s damage to the tires and alignment.

“When it comes to tires, drivers are likely to pay from $59.99 to $200 a tire, depending on the size of the vehicle,” said Thompson.

“But the alignment can range from $59.95 to $99.95, again depending on the vehicle.”

In the summer and fall, the potholes go unnoticed; in the winter and spring the cold and rain slips underneath a small crack on the road, the surface begins to break down, become loose and eventually dislodge. In Tallahassee, drivers tend to have ice melts on the cars and roads surface; therefore, the road surface will crumble and passing vehicles make the pothole bigger and can cause damage.

Students are not aware of how serious potholes can be and the price they pay when driving over one.

“Potholes can create so much damage to your tires and suspensions,” said Josh Lane, a tire specialist at Mechanic on Duty: Big A’s tire and wheel.

“It’s important that drivers get their tires checked, look for chunks, separation, treads, splits and every 5,000 miles get your tires checked. You can’t dodge potholes but brake before the impact and then drive over at a slow speed.”

Lane said drivers tend to steer left and right to avoid potholes with tires that are not in the best condition.

“Avoiding the potholes with a bad condition tire can lead to a tire blowout that can make your car go out of control, and nine times out of ten a car accident can happen.”

Driving can be easier if everyone is alert on the road and can see where these potholes are located.

Shea Tillman, a clerk at the city of Tallahassee, urges drivers to report the potholes to Tom Lewis in the city’s public department at 892-5313.

“It’s a great thing to notify the city of Tallahassee for major potholes; therefore, we know the community cares about the safety of other drivers and the conditions of the road,” said Tillman.