Don’t Get Mad, get Madison: City of Chesapeake promises to provide maintenance on ‘paper road’


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake man was frustrated with deteriorating conditions on his street and after 10 On Your Side got involved, the city said changes are on the way.

This is on Scott Avenue, off Providence Rd. 

Michael Sternberg lives here and said for years, the city called this a “paper road”, meaning they have no maintenance obligations. After our story aired, he’s hearing something different. 

“They kept telling me it’s a paper road. It’s a paper road. They’re not responsible,” Sternberg said.

He was tired of hearing that from the city of Chesapeake while fearing for his safety every day he left his house. 

“I’m a handicapped disabled veteran so walking up and down this busted up road was a health risk,” he said. “I felt as a taxpayer, why do I need to acquire the property for something that belongs to the city? All I wanted them to do is to maintain it.” 

After years of hearing no, he’s hearing yes. City crews looked at the street and turns out, the city does have maintenance obligations. 

About a week after our story aired…

“My wife called me and said ‘hey, they’re out-front putting stakes in the ground. I said who is out front putting stakes in the ground? She said, ‘the city of Chesapeake,” he said. “About a week after that, a gentleman showed up and starting spray painting and outlining where they’re going to put the street.”

The city said in the coming weeks, they’ll add gravel and smooth out the road. 

“It’s going to be like Christmas,” Sternberg said. “For all these years, talking to the people that are supposed to do it and all reality all I needed to do was watch you on TV one day, satisfy something for the one gentleman who had his whole road paved and I said, that’s going to be my next step. I reached out to you and issue solved. Don’t get mad, get Madison.” 

Sternberg said he wants to say thank you to the city of Chesapeake. Of course, WAVY will make sure the work gets done. 

 If you have any concerns on the road, traffic troubles, intersection issues, pothole problems — Don’t Get Mad, Get Madison.

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