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It’s 5:30 p.m. on a Friday night and you’re stuck in traffic (keep in mind; it could be worse if you were stuck in traffic in a larger metropolitan community).  It feels like you are never going to get home and the kids are in the back seat fighting (keep in mind, it could be worse if it was your in-laws or maybe your know-it-all Uncle Eddie in the back seat).  The light finally turns green and you start to go.  Before you know it you’ve hit a pot hole.  The reality is that the pot hole is probably not that large, but given how it just rattled the doors on your vehicle you may have thought you had discovered Bowling Green’s own version of the mystical “Black Hole.” Dag gone it…this is not how your weekend was supposed to begin.  You make a mental note that come Monday you are going to call City Hall – this [radio edit] pot hole has got to be taken care of.

As I’ve said in the past; we always like to hear from the citizens of Bowling Green whether it be for good reasons or bad.  In fact, some of my most memorable experiences while having served on the Commission have come from less than pleasant interactions with some of Bowling Green’s most colorful citizens. But sometimes, what you’re calling upon the City for is not something we can directly help you with.  Staff and the Commission take a lot of phone calls about traffic, road conditions and street lights, and our goal is to assist you regardless of whether the road is cared for by the City, the County or the State.  Having said that, I’ll try and give you a general and brief lesson on the roads that we drive every day.

The quick answer is that if a road has a number on it, it is State maintained. This is not always easy to determine.  For example, nearly everyone who lives in or travels through Bowling Green knows of Scottsville Road.  While the average motorist may call it Scottsville Road, its official name is KY 231.  Other examples include, Nashville Road (31-W), Russellville Road(68/80), and Three Springs Road (844) to name a few.  These “number roads” are maintained by the State regardless of whether or not they are located in the City or County limits.  As such, the City and County have no authority over the way these roads are maintained.

In addition to State maintained roads, the County is responsible for roads and streets as you leave the City limits. Often times, one road may be partially maintained by the City and partially by the County.  A good example of this type of situation is Dishman Lane/Dishman Lane Extension/Cave Mill Road (why this same stretch of road has three different names is the subject of a whole other blog post) which connects Russellville Road and Scottsville Road running in an East to West direction.  This road meanders in and out of the City and County limits more times than it has names.  Again, I know this can be confusing.  If you want to become more educated than I could ever hope to edify you, then please visit the GIS section of the City website at http://www.bgky.org/gis/ to get a good idea of where the City/County boundaries are.

The City is still responsible for a lot of roads.  If you are downtown or in a City neighborhood and you happen across an issue with the road you are driving on, you most likely need to contact the City.  If you would like to file a complaint or notify staff of an issue, you can contact our City Central department at 393-3641. And remember, City Staff and the Board of Commissioners pride ourselves on being constituent friendly so feel free to call on us no matter where the problem is and we’ll do our best to assist you with contacting the correct person or agency.

Until next time, I’ll be seeing you on one of the many roads that travel through Bowling Green; don’t be afraid to wave hello, I promise I’ll wave back if I see you!

~Slim

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