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Portland to homeowners: Fix your own unimproved street

Homeowners in north Portland are angry tonight that the city will not fix their street.
Potholes on North Mears Street

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Homeowners in north Portland are angry that the city will not fix their street.

North Mears Street is "unimproved" and covered with dirt and gravel.

It's also pockmarked by deep grooves and holes that filled with muddy water after the recent rains.

Sally Meyer lives at the end of the road. Her family moved in six years ago. She and everyone else on the street pay taxes, just like those who live on nicely paved roads.

She can't believe the city leaves the street in such bad condition.

"It's awful driving down our street," she said. "We have friends that won't drive down it. We have to meet them at the end to drop off their kids for play dates or drop off my kids from school or whatever. We've gotten flat tires. It's horrible and nobody will do anything about it!"

A city spokeswoman said Portland has 59 miles of "unimproved" roads.

Most were annexed into Portland as the city grew outward. Since the roads did not meet city standards, Portland refused to take care of them. She also pointed out that residents knew the condition of the road when they moved in and that many pay less in property tax because the road lowers their home's value.

The solution, she said, is for homeowners to pool their money and pay for the improvements themselves. Once the road is fixed, the city will maintain it.