So we bought a home some 30 years ago on a Private Way and sincerely enjoyed the privacy. Since then may homes have and are being built in the area. The City plows our road and other Private Ways in the area. Trash is picked up on a regular schedule. But the roadways are in horrible condition. While the neighborhood is great the neighbors are NOT. They've naturally come from other cities and towns and because it's a Private Way, they seem to think that they are the sole owners of the street where they live.. They think nothing of filling complaints and lawsuits to flex their muscle and to get their own way. Some have also put up property fences in the middle of a Private Way interfering with neighbor parking and City services.Some neighbors own businesses and encourage student weekend employees to park on the street overnite all weekend and take up all the space. They obviously have college age children themselves and a college holiday weekend away on vacation means carpooling resulting in some out of City and neighborhood cars being left unattended for the whole weekend.
With the new tax rate soon coming into effect I propose that the City take over Private Ways and make them Public Ways. That way at least the roadways will be better maintained and in better condition and no overnite all weekend holiday parking.. There are a few homes for sale in the area and we would like to sell in a few years also. I see other homes in the City go up for sale and are sold almost immediately. In the area I live in it takes a few weeks, then months to make a sale.
I know that some residents of private ways are close and enjoy the privacy. The roadways are short and in good condition. That's just not the case all over the City. Anyway I hope the City provides a pathway to make a Private Way into a Public Way.
For relevant background, a link to the city ordinances concerning streets:
And more generally:
No parking on the streets in Melrose and no tickets given from the police when cars are parked on the sidewalks. Take a look MPD start on Melrose St. so unsafe and near a school. Selective streets will not get a ticket or selective people. Is this because the city is down so many officers or what. Warning it's an accident waiting to happen.
Oh and don't forget the narrow streets we have going on because of Dolan. After the Mayor and SC caused a shambles in Melrose they leave.
The overnight parking ban will most likely be abolished within the next few years anyways. So talking about this topic is probably a waste of time. Also, if you live on a private way you should get no city services.
That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I also live on a private way, and I pay taxes just like everyone else. Of course I'm entitled to city services.
In Massachusetts a private way that is maintained or even plowed by the city is by law, open to use by the general public. That is the existing case law. For the record, putting fences or blockades on the private way is unlawful. It must be passable at all times to emergency vehicles. Also, if someone is impeding your right to use the private way that you live on, they are "trespassing on easement". It would be the same as someone trespassing on your property and blocking your car in with their car in your drive way. The solution: have them towed. The solution for a fence , bulldoze it down, a large truck would do. You simply don't put up with this type of nonsense from people. before you know it, they will be building a shed on your property.
Unfortunately with the way private ways work, the city can't just take it over. The owners would have to improve the street to a state where the city would accept it. The only times I've heard of private ways being taken are trough eminent domain (need a reason) or when taxes aren't paid.
When you have older streets like yours, there is a huge cost to upgrade them to current standards. The city (and taxpayers) don't want to take on millions of dollars of infrastructure (sewer, water, sidewalks, pavement) improvements to benefit a handful of residents. It's not easy to grasp, but the home prices on a private way reflect this situation. I think your only option (aside from paying for everything on your own) would be to reach out to the city to start a conversation about the street being accepted. As part of that, the city could upgrade the streets to their current standards and then add that cost onto the street's tax bills as an assessment.