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some text Shawn Ryan

I lived in Atlanta for 26 years and drove its roads.

I lived in Birmingham for 21 years and drove its roads.

I have lived in Chattanooga for 11 years and drive its roads.

The contest is not even close; Chattanooga has the worst roads of any city in which I've lived.

Bailey Avenue is ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump. There's a bridge on McCallie Avenue that will knock the front end right out from under your car. Ringgold Road is a game of dodge-the-potholes. U.S. 27 is a horrifying maze that changes daily.

Maybe it's better to just take the bus.

In honor of Chattanooga's dubious road-fixing record, here's a playlist of songs that define the driving experience in the city. Buckle up.

* "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles. Trouble is, the road hits back.

* "Dirt Road Anthem" by Jason Aldean. I've ridden on dirt roads that were smoother than paved ones here.

* "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake or "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson. It's what I say every time I climb into my car to go somewhere.

* "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey. I keep hoping city government will do something about the roads, but I'm losing hope.

* "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC. Needs no explanation.

* "Interstate Love Song" by Stone Temple Pilots. The traffic can be bad, but at least the pavement is smooth.

* "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty. What it feels like when you hit some of the canyon-like potholes.

* "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi. Better reach out and ask for protection.

* "No More No More" by Aerosmith. A fervent plea muttered by drivers all over town.

* "Under My Wheels" by Alice Cooper. Just what the heck am I driving on? Railroad ties?

* "Close to the Edge" by Yes. A familiar feeling just before you get to where you're going.

* "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" by X. Easier said than done.

* "I Ain't Living Long Like This" by Waylon Jennings. Feels that way after a few miles.

* "Hitchin' a Ride" by Vanity Fare. Let someone else's car take the pain.

* "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman. Nope, even that won't help. You're still driving on the same roads, just more quickly.

* "Whatever I Fear" by Toad the Wet Sprocket. It's going to be there somewhere, either a pothole or a gap in the pavement or a mountain-size bump or

Contact Shawn Ryan at mshawnryan@gmail.com.

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