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Willow Park

Council to look into residents road complaints 

Crown Road area with traffic also being assessed


At its meeting on Tuesday, May 28, the Willow Park City Council once again heard from numerous residents in the Crown Road area with various complaints following work to repair the streets and improve drainage.

It’s the second straight meeting in which residents from that area, which includes streets in the 2022 street improvement project, Crown Road, Ranch House Road, King's Gate Road, Sam Bass Road, Old Ford Road, Sam Bass Court, Trinity Court, Trinity Drive, Crested Butte Court, Ridge Haven Court and Ridge Haven Court. A group featuring many of the same residents appeared before the council at the May 14 meeting.

The majority of complaints this time were concerning right of way and driveway widths, along with traffic speed. Previously, there were complaints about grass and weeds growing in and around the drainage ditches near their yards, but the city has expanded its mowing contract to address the issue.

“That was awesome. Glad that somebody came out,” said Chris Voorhees, a resident in the area. “Much nicer.”

City Manager Bryan Grimes had already authorized the mowing before the May 14 meeting. However, because the residents spoke during a public comments portion, he and council members could not interact with them, so he could not make an announcement.

At the end of the May 14 meeting Mayor Pro Tem Lea Young asked that the subject be put on an upcoming agenda in the near future. 

Another resident, Roy Ramos, suggested city officials come out and survey the area, saying it wouldn’t take them long to get from City Hall to the area.

“I got here in about three minutes,” he said, drawing a laugh from the council and audience when he turned and looked at Police Chief Daniel Franklin and added, “Oh, I wasn’t speeding.”

The width of driveways was a major topic both on May 14 and Tuesday. City Manager Bryan Grimes has declared that each was built back to at least 12 in width per the city’s minimum standard, which was reinforced during a presentation Tuesday by City Staff Engineer Gretchen Vasquez.

However, Young suggested that given the work done, the driveway approaches may no longer be suitable for residents. The upcoming study by city staff will take into consideration widening driveways.

Fellow Council Member Greg Runnebaum disagreed with the consideration to do so. He said his property has had an 11-foot driveway for 40 years and vehicles of all sizes have been able to go in and out.

“There has never been a problem with an 11-foot-wide driveway,” he said.

This prompted an elderly man in the audience to shout out, “You don’t live on that road!”

This drew an immediate response from Mayor Doyle Moss of, “No outbursts.”

Runnebaum would later add that there are another 25-30 roads/streets to fix in the city, saying doing more in the Crown Road area would add an expense to other citizens in town.

“We’ve done what we’re supposed to do and that’s it,” he said. “We’re asking people to spend more money so people on Crown can get into their driveway easier. Unacceptable.”

Nonetheless, the subject will be looked into by the city, along with whether to continue to mow the area or place concrete in drainage ditches.

“It would certainly solve the maintenance problem. I just didn’t think it would be sightly,” Grimes said, adding, “If you’re gonna put concrete in, do it now.”

Other options, which would continue to involve mowing, are to put down sod or hydromulch. Grimes did not recommend sod, largely because of its cost and subsequent time issue.

Moss stressed the topic be on the June 11 agenda, telling the audience, “I live in the city and I’m just as concerned as you all are. I promise you we’re going to do all we can to make it right.

“Will everybody be happy? Probably not. But I promise you the city is going to do all we can.”

The 2022 street improvements project consisted of removing and replacing approximately 36,500 square yards of existing asphalt pavement with concrete paving and replacing approximately 18,600 square yards of asphalt pavement with 2-inch hot-mix asphaltic concrete pavement. The project also included roadside ditch grading, driveway replacement, and new bike lanes. 

Goals were to:

  • Improve road infrastructure.
  • Rehabilitate pavement.
  • Promote bicycle mobility.
  • Improve surface drainage system.
  • Protect property from the potential damages caused by stormwater runoff.
  • Reduce infrastructure costs.

Grimes made a point late in the discussion to say that two things are clear, however. The streets are in great condition and there were no complaints about drainage.

"I drove Crown at 8:30 in the morning on a downpour and water was draining, just like it’s supposed to,” he said.


The council also addressed complaints of speeding in the Crown Road area through a "traffic calming" study. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), traffic calming reduces automobile speeds or volumes, mainly through the use of physical measures, to increase safety.

Franklin said a study suggested the best possible solution would be to install speed humps in the area. These are similar to speed bumps, often found in parking lots, for example. However, speed humps tend to be slightly smaller in height and longer.

“Speed humps are more applicable to that area because of the amount of traffic,” Franklin said.

Franklin said a study of the area showed that an average of 620 cars per day traveled down the road during a 28-day span. He said the average speed of 85 percent of those cars was 38 miles per hour with a speed limit of 30.

“It is basically over the speed limit,” he said, acknowledging that there is speeding in the area, but not as high as some have stated.

Franklin added that the road improvements have made the area, already a thoroughfare, now a major artery for the city. Also, after the improvements, per state law, with it being a major artery, folks can no longer park on the side of the road.

“When I came here that road was pretty bad. Nobody traveled it,” Franklin said.

“When you put the concrete down you opened it up,” Grimes said.


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