Chesapeake resident upset over ‘paper road’ conditions, calls on city to provide maintenance


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake man is fed up with deteriorating road conditions in his neighborhood. 

He wants the city to provide maintenance, but he claims the city is passing the responsibility onto him.

Michael Sternberg lives on Scott Avenue. That’s off Providence Road in the Indian River section of the city. 

Sternberg says wants the city to maintain the road, but it may be a bit more complicated than that. 

He’s lived on Scott Avenue for 15 years, and for 15 years, he says the road home has gotten bumpier. 

“It’s just crush-and-run [gravel] and over the years, it’s been settling and developing chuckholes. Myself being handicapped having to take the garbage out, I got to transverse this in the dark,” he said.

“I talked with Chesapeake a few times about this and they keep telling me because this is a ‘paper road’ so they’re not responsible for the maintenance,” he added.

That’s true. 

According to the city, they’re not responsible for maintaining “paper streets.” They say that’s up to the homeowner. 

Paper streets appear on a map — but have never been built. They only appear on paper, hence the name. 

“I don’t understand what you’re talking about,” he said. “A paper road? It’s a road. It’s got a blue sign. There are mailboxes. The government comes by and puts mail in my mailboxes. Why can’t somebody maintain it?” he said.

Sternberg is requesting the city level out the road and put crush and run gravel down for more stability. 

WAVY contacted the city and they said they’re looking into their maintenance obligations on Scott Avenue specifically. They confirmed it’s considered a paper street.

We’ll update the story as we learn more.

If you have any concerns on the road, traffic troubles, intersection issues, pothole problems — Don’t Get Mad, Get Madison! Email Traffic Anchor Madison Glassman at

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