Who Maintains Your Streets & Sidewalks - Reporting Issues
Posted on December 1, 2020 7:00 AM by Maxwell Pfannebecker
CORRECTION: an earlier version of this article stated in parahraph 2 that certain streets were maintained by a private entity "like Town Management" and this has been corrected to read "like New Town Residential Association."
While there’s no hard and fast rule to figuring out what person or entity is responsible for maintaining those slabs of concrete, asphalt, or bricks upon which we walk and drive, there are some quick rules of thumb.
Most of the streets that run through New Town are maintained by VDOT, but several of the Alleyways and smaller side streets in our neighborhoods are not. A good method of determining whether or not a street is maintained by VDOT in New Town is by noting availability of street parking and presence of two travel lanes. Casey Blvd and New Town Avenue are both VDOT maintained streets with street parking and two lanes of travel. Alleyways in New Town, like Eleanors Way, Melanies Way, and Victorias Way are all alleyways with a narrowed path of travel and a lack of street parking. These would be maintained by a private entity like the New Town Residential Association.
As a general rule, the entity that owns the land on which the sidewalk sits bears responsibility for maintaining that sidewalk. These sidewalks would include a sidewalk leading from your residence or business to the street (running perpendicular to the street).
Sidewalks that run parallel to the street are typically the responsibility of the entity that maintains the street. For example, sidewalks that run parallel along Casey Boulevard would be the responsibility of VDOT because they maintain Casey Blvd and its respective right-of-way. The right-of-way in this case extends from the outer edge of the sidewalk across the street to the outer edge of the opposite sidewalk. Within that right-of-way, maintenance obligations fall to VDOT.
Sidewalks that run along alleyways (like the previously mentioned Melanies Way or Victorias Way) would not fall under VDOT because the alleyways themselves are not maintained by VDOT.
Additionally, VDOT usually will only maintain concrete and asphalt surfaces, meaning brick crosswalks are maintained by another association. One exception is the bumpy transition into crosswalks installed for ADA guidelines. VDOT will usually maintain those as a matter of public safety.
Who to Call, Where to Start
Town Management’s Randy Casey-Rutland notes that there are exceptions to every rule in knowing which entity is responsible, but the fastest way to make an issue known is to report to VDOT (to https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/
) even when you’re not sure which entity is responsible. Even if the repair isn’t theirs to make they will typically respond quickly and let you know the status or let you know that the repair does not fall under their maintenance obligation.
Casey-Rutland adds that more residents reporting an issue with streets or sidewalks usually leads to a more timely repair.
Posted on December 1, 2020 10:03 AM
Very informative article. One suggestion for keeping residents up-to-date would be for the managing agent to post a map of the residential association which would indicate which streets are managed by VDOT , the NTRA and other. As far as I know (which may not be current), VDOT has not accepted Casey Blvd entirely, which means that sidewalk maintenance falls to no one?
Maxwell Pfannebecker - EDITOR
Posted on December 3, 2020 5:17 PM
Thank you for the comment. Our initial intent was to publish such a map but there are some streets in New Town that are in transition of ownership as we speak. We didn't feel an accurate and comprehensive map could be published at this time but we do expect to revisit this topic in future issues of the Town Crier.