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Waste Watchers: Unpaved road adds to Ormewood Park sidewalk saga

6:24 PM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- An unpaved road in Ormewood Park is adding to the controversy over thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on wheelchair friendly curbs.

For years, Evan Frayer has tried to convince the city of Atlanta to lay asphalt over the 300 yards of Ayr Place that runs beside his home. Frayer says with every heavy rain, the Ayr Place is full of cracks and crevices, with dirt and rock washing downhill.

"Sometimes it's so bad, even the trash collection won't come through," says Frayer.

Frayer says crews come by at least four times a year to make repairs.

What's worse, according to Frayer, is the rock and dirt that washes over one of the wheelchair friendly curbs the city recently installed at a hefty price to taxpayers. Currently, the curb at the corner of Ayr Place and Underwood Avenue is buried under debris, making it quite unfriendly to anyone trying to get by in a wheelchair.

"Why bother putting in this apron if every rainfall it's going to wash more dirt and gravel on it?" said Frayer. "It doesn't make much sense."

Related: Federal mandate produces costly improvements that lead to disrepair

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Last year, 11Alive's Waste Watchers reported on the $140,000 in taxpayer dollars spent to improve numerous curbs around Ormewood Park. The federal government instructed the city to make the improvements after a repaving project in the area.

Neighbors complained that the wheelchair assessable curbs led to broken sidewalks that a wheelchair could hardly navigate.

The city sent letters ordering homeowners in the area to repair the broken sidewalks at their expense. Atlanta city code says that sidewalk repair is the duty of adjacent property owners.

Frayer was told repairs to the sidewalk in front of his home could cost him an estimated $1,200, prompting him to email 11Alive's Wasteline to question why the city won't pave Ayr Place and stop the washout that covers the wheelchair curb adjacent to his property.

The city's Public Works Department says paving all of Atlanta's 87 unpaved roads would cost approximately $30 million, something the city can't currently afford.

Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza says the city is looking at using recycled asphalt to at least temporarily stop the wash out on Ayr Place.

"I believe before this summer we can get out there with this intermediate solution and be able to effect a vast improvement for this particular street."

The city says it would require a voter approved referendum to initiate a bond that would raise the money necessary to pave the city's unpaved streets, including Ayr Place.

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