Homeowners frustrated with roads not maintained by city

Portland has 50 miles of unpaved, unmaintained roads

Portland has 50 miles of unpaved, unmaintained roads. (KOIN)
Portland has 50 miles of unpaved, unmaintained roads. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A brutal winter followed by a wet spring have left Portland roads in bad shape — especially unpaved roads all over the city.

While Portland Bureau of Transportation crews have been making progress on filling hundreds of potholes, there are some problem areas they aren’t responsible for.

Tax dollars pay for city streets that are already paved and equipped with proper drainage systems.

PBOT — Improve Your Gravel Street
PBOT — Neighborhood Streets Program

“Those roads were built before the city annexed those areas,” said PBOT spokesperson Dylan Rivera. “They were never maintained by the county, they were never built to the county’s standards or the city’s standards.”

There are more than 50 miles of unpaved dirt and gravel streets within Portland city limits and many of them are filled with potholes that grew larger over the winter.

Adrienne Mullock, who lives on one of those unpaved streets, said the roads are almost impassible and even delivery trucks have become stuck multiple times.

“Every day cars attempt to come down, then they have to back up and there are other cars in the area that are in jeopardy of getting hit when they’re making these choices,” Mullock said.

Mullock feels the city should be using tax money to improve the roads, but Rivera said the homeowners paid for the streets through the value of their homes.

The city said since it’s a homeowner’s responsibility to fix the roads, they’ve loosened the regulations on doing so to let homeowners fill the holes with gravel as needed, without getting approval.

PBOT said a more permanent solution would be if homeowners got together and split the cost of created an actual road with the proper drainage systems.

“We can help you form a local improvement district,” Rivera said. “It’s a special entity that groups all the tax lots on your street and everyone pays their fair share.”

Portland has 50 miles of unpaved, unmaintained roads. (KOIN)
Portland has 50 miles of unpaved, unmaintained roads. (KOIN)