Activists say sandy, unpaved roads creating dangerous hazards

Community pleading with county over funding to fix roads

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SAN ANTONIO – A South Bexar County community is pleading with county commissioners to help fix roads in their area. Residents of the Highland Oaks neighborhood are calling the condition of the roads a true emergency and turning to the county for help.

The roads in the neighborhood may seem like regular county dirt roads, but a closer look and an attempt to drive on them will show you they're actually made of deep sand.

Molly Martinez with Bexar Organized Community Area South, or BOCAS, said the roads in the neighborhood are disrupting people's way of life.

"They get stuck every day. Mail is not getting delivered. UPS (and) FedEx is not being delivered. Trash pickup? Forget that. Plus, school buses are not able to go in and pick up the children. So the kids are having to walk all the way to Highway 281, which is very dangerous," Martinez said.

Even worse, she said the roads are putting families in danger.

"Emergency vehicles are not being able to go in," she explained. "We had one situation where a baby, two weeks old, she was not able to breathe. The mother called the ambulance. It took an hour for them to come in. They said they got stuck and got out of their vehicles (and) walked to the residency to get some aid."

Community activists blame developers for the poorly built roads and claim the developers, formerly approved by the county, are now no longer around. Tuesday, the community filled Bexar County Commissioners Court, asking the county to fix the issue.

Judge Nelson Wolff said, unfortunately, this is a familiar situation.

"Needless to say, there's been a lot of unscrupulous developers over the years and county taxpayers are having to pick up for their failures," Wolff said.

In the past, commissioners have told community members the issue is that many of the roads are private.

However, on Tuesday Judge Wolff reassured Highland Oaks community members the county will step in. He said the county is already evaluating other neighborhoods that may need the same type of help and after that report is finished, he will assess which road improvements will be funded and how soon.

"We'll have that report today and we'll give some direction to staff today to narrow that down and try to come up with a plan in those neighborhoods that don't have the financial means," Wolff said.

Other community activist groups including COPS and Metro are backing the neighborhood and were at the meeting Tuesday asking the commissioners court about what's next.

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