‘It’s kind of a shame’
January 2, 2008
Debbie Watkins is tired of seeing scattered pop cans, beer bottles, plastic cup lids, pine needles and bags of leaves littering the side of La Barr Meadows and Dog Bar roads on her way to work at Grass Valley City Hall.
She’s complained to numerous Nevada County officials about the debris since March, but they said they only can do a limited amount of work because roadway maintenance takes precedence.
A three- to four-mile stretch of the two connecting roads just outside of Grass Valley’s city limits is an eyesore, said Watkins, who lives in Alta Sierra. Watkins works as an administrative clerk for the city’s engineering department.
“It’s kind of a shame the county doesn’t want to take care of it better,” Watkins said.
That’s not the case, said Tim Hackworth, Nevada County senior engineer.
“There’s well over 500 miles of roads in the county,” Hackworth said. “We try to put our resources in safety (road maintenance) and then aesthetics.”
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Trash littering area landscapes or roadways has drawn citizen ire in several instances in the past year.
Nevada City leaders approved a dusk to dawn ban on people walking or sleeping on a trail between Red Castle Inn and the Stonehouse Restaurant after citizens complained about junk that transients left behind and also criminal activity.
Debris dumped alongside Rock Creek, a tributary to the South Yuba River, also drew citizen anger early last year and the federal Bureau of Land Management, owners of the property, cleaned it up.
The county doesn’t have a program where its employees monitor littered roadsides and clean them up, Hackworth said.
Interested citizens or groups can join the county’s Adopt-A-Road program, Hackworth said. The program has citizen volunteers cleaning up the road themselves and county road maintenance workers picking up the trash bags to haul them off to the dump, he said.
The county lists the La Barr Meadows and Dog Bar roads stretch as potential Adopt-A-Road options that no citizens or organizations have adopted as yet.
“I think it’s important to the environment to pick up these items from the roadside,” Watkins said.
Some of the trash doesn’t biodegrade and can pollute nearby waterways, she said.
A big part of the problem on La Barr Meadows and Dog Bar Roads involves junk falling off trucks on the way to the McCourtney Road Transfer Station, Watkins said.
Watkins spotted a television along La Barr Meadows Road in recent weeks, she said.
Couches, TVs, trash bags and other large items often are picked up by county road maintenance crews driving by, Hackworth said.
“We actually do make an effort,” Hackworth said.
Yet, most times the county doesn’t respond until a citizen complains or a roadside “gets rather bad,” he said.
To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4234.