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Rural road will remain unpaved: Old Carversville Road links village to Delaware River

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To pave or not to pave the western section of Old Carversville Road was the question before the Solebury Board of Supervisors Tuesday night.
 
The 4-to-1 answer was not to pave, but with the proviso that the township manager investigate ways to better maintain the hilly gravel road.
 
The road runs from the Delaware River in Lumberville to the village of Carversville and links with Fleecydale Road along the way, creating a loop for bikers and walkers.
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Voting against the measure was Supervisor John Francis who said he did not want to preclude the board from revisiting the issue at a later date.
 
Chair Mark Baum Baicker, who lives in Carversville and voted against the paving, said he and his wife walk that road on weekends and “I would hate to see it change. We need to pursue safety matters.”
 
About paving, he said, if you “build it and they (the motorcycles) will come.”
 
Supervisor Noel Barrett, also of Carversville, said “I walk that road almost every day. The traffic would really be a problem.”
 
Township Manager Dennis Carney said he is considering a remedy for the potholes caused by drainage problems.
 
He said there is a piece of equipment with 8-foot wide blades that attaches to the back of a truck and gathers the gravel after a heavy rain and moves the gravel back onto the roadway and into the potholes.
The device costs $20,000 to $25,000 so “we need to try it before we buy it and we hope we can try it this fall,” Carney said.
 
The paving issue was raised by a group of Old Carversville Road residents, led by Wayne Retter, who gave a presentation on benefits of a paving project.
 
He said his survey of 16 residents along the road found 8 in favor of paving, 5 against, and 3 neutral.
 
Retter cited gravel-related safety and liability problems, potholes, mud, property values, dust, the $25,000 a year in township maintenance costs for the road.
 
Public comment via Zoom varied:
 
– Larry favored paving because the road is dangerous in the winter time.
 
– Teresa was concerned about the increase in traffic with paving. “All here knew the road was unpaved when you moved here.”
 
– Thomas Patterson said, “It’s been bone of contention for 20 years. I’m totally opposed to any paving of the road.” There’s an increase potential of accidents due to high speeds.
 
– Paul Leventhal added, “I don’t see paving as even a remote possibility on that road.”
 
– A resident said, “The mud and dirt is really growing on me.”
 
In other matters, the board unanimously authorized the township to enter into agreement to purchase two properties along Route 202 for open space. Settlement and closing is slated for Sept. 18.
 
The township will buy 11.47 acres of the former Route 202 flea market from Country Host Inc. for $2.1 million and 1.07 acres at the corner of Route 202 and Reeder Road from Anthony Canike of Solebury for $254,035.
 
Solebury plans to pay for the purchase with open space conservation funds.
 
The board also appointed Joseph Kubiak as an associate member of the township’s Environmental Advisory Board for a term ending Dec. 31.

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