Houston’s Bad Streets Cause Maintenance Headaches

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says a new report issued by a research group in Washington D.C. about Houston's bad road conditions comes as no surprise.

Mayor Annise Parker says there was nothing new about Houston in the report issued by the transportation research group TRIP.

“I think what it said was that about half the streets in Houston are in poor to mediocre condition and we all said ‘well duh.’ City of Houston did a complete street assessment, you can go to the City of Houston’s Public Works website and see that street assessment.”

Parker says the condition of Houston’s roads is one reason the city pushed so hard to create a dedicated street and drainage fund, known as Rebuild Houston.

“Everyone who lives here for very long quickly learns that we have some interesting and challenging soil conditions in the City of Houston, with our clay soil that shrinks and expands. Those who experienced last year’s drought, the worst drought in recorded Houston history, know what that drought did to water pipes across the City of Houston. It torqued them apart. Those same forces were acting under our streets.”

Parker says it’s a constant maintenance headache to stay ahead of the degradation of Houston’s streets. In fact, she says last year’s drought caused so much damage that the Public Works department is doing a complete street assessment over again to document the problems.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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