The Watchdog

City can dog even private streets

The problem

Sometimes the road less traveled is a bit harder to navigate.

Joan Wankum of Overland Park wasn’t the only driver winding around big potholes on 93rd Street between Metcalf Avenue and Foster Street.

With street issues, you’d normally bark at the city and hope something happens, but things are a little different here. Wankum notes that a sign designates this as a private street. So what then?

The answer

Sean Reilly with the city of Overland Park sniffed around a bit and found some good news. He noticed extensive work had been done recently, with entire sections completely milled and a new street surface placed, as well as potholes repaired.

If things aren’t improving, though, there are options.

Private streets are typically owned and maintained by adjacent property owners, Reilly said.

If people are worried about the condition of a private street, they can log the issue with the online Overland Park Cares customer service system and file it with the city’s planning department. They will check out the site and, if work is needed, seek out the owner to talk about the issue.

“As always, we hope the road traveled by the Watchdog is free of rough patches and potholes,” Reilly said.

Woof, woof to that!

Do you have a problem or a question about a public issue? Write to the Watchdog, The Kansas City Star, Newsroom, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, or send email to Include your name, phone number and city of residence.