GV will wait to decide what to do with its gravel roads

BY FREDA MIKLIN
GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER

After first hearing from some people living in GV’s rural area that they wanted to see the current criteria for paving individual gravel roads changed to require less than 100% agreement of adjacent residents, Greenwood Village City Council Members Dave Bullock and Paul Wiesner, who represent the rural area, held a town hall meeting on December 13 to get area residents’ feedback. Most residents who attended spoke against the proposed change.

This is a map of GV roads in what is considered the rural area.

At the GV City Council meeting on January 9, Wiesner reported back to fellow councilmembers that many residents on both sides of the paving debate agreed that a pressing problem was the poor condition of the roads. He also reported that, “We’re putting a committee together of some people that want the roads paved and some people who want them left as is. Hopefully…there is some consensus that can be found.” He pledged to bring the results of that effort back to city council with recommendations.

Bullock shared that he didn’t speak during the December 13 meeting because, as “a member of the rural district,” he “didn’t want to bring any influence one way or the other.” He continued, “My perspective, and the perspective of others, is that the meeting was really hijacked by the anti-pavers…” 

Bullock said that after several residents spoke against the proposed change, a resident in favor of paving stood up to speak, and, “It was embarrassing, how they were treated. They were called down, catcalls, interrupted, it was really a sad situation.” Later, he added, “There were six to seven other people at the meeting who were going to speak in favor of paving. I talked to them afterward. They said, ‘After the way (name of couple who spoke in favor of paving) were treated, I wasn’t going to speak up and be subjected to that kind of treatment.” He continued, “Because the anti-pavers are so vocal…that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the majority.” He said that conducting a survey was the only way to really find out who is and isn’t in favor of changing the standard for approving paving, but, he concluded, “We’ve agreed not to do a survey at this time.”

Having lived in the area for many years, Bullock said he believed that more residents who live east of Little Dry Creek, which, “goes right down through the rural district,” are against paving, whereas, “It seems fairly apparent that a majority or super-majority of those who are on the west side of Little Dry Creek want to pave, evidenced by the fact that 100% of the people on Willamette wanted to pave and they got theirs paved.” He explained further that, “There’s only three roads on the west side, Willamette (which is already paved) on the north side, Garden in the middle, and Alexander on the south side.” 

Finally, Bullock talked about a proposal by longtime rural resident Len Goldstein that could be a good compromise, involving paving the western part of some roads–closest to University Boulevard, while leaving the eastern portion of those roads, more likely to be used by horses, unpaved. 

On December 29, Wiesner and Bullock sent a letter to area residents notifying them that GV’s public works department will work to, “Seek out a technical solution to reduce as much dust, wash boarding, potholes and muddy conditions as possible and provide residents a safe road without paving.”  

Efforts to alter the city’s policy for paving gravel roads are being placed on hold at this time, pending the results of the work of the ad hoc committee of residents and the two councilmembers, as well as the city’s public works department. 

fmiklin.villager@gmail.com