Gibraltar Passes Road Brushing Guidelines

The Gibraltar Town Board passed road brushing guidelines at its January meeting to the sound of applause from many of the 25 attending.

“It’s certainly not everything we would have liked, but that’s the nature of democracy,” said Tom Thurman. “There’s been a lot of give and take. We’re happy to have avoided the acrimony had by other communities.”

The guidelines, passed 4-1 with Brian Hackbarth opposing, say roads 35 mph or less will have a two-foot shoulder, a six-foot horizontal clear zone beyond the shoulder and a 16-foot vertical clearance. Roads 45 mph or above will have two-foot shoulders, nine-foot horizontal clear zones and 16-foot vertical clearance. Lower and upper cottage row will be addressed in separate agreements.

The verbiage of the guidelines isn’t available yet, according to the town office. Look for future issues of Pulse Picks and the Peninsula Pulse for the exact guidelines.

Thurman lives on Gibraltar Bluff Road, parts of which were brushed in summer, 2013. Thurman and many of his neighbors think the brushing was excessive, with more trees and brush cut than necessary.

Board Supervisor Dick Skare said he wants to work on communication between neighbors and supervisors for future brushing projects.

“I’d like to at least create a way to make sure people are heard about what they think and feel, and that they understand the other side too, understand what we’re trying to do and our point of view,” he said.

The town sends a letter to residents on roads scheduled for brushing two to three weeks before the brushing occurs, which board chair Brian Merkel said gave residents an opportunity to contact the board.

Thurman said the problem wasn’t with being notified of the brushing, but of the town’s description of what the brushing would look like.

“This hasn’t been an issue of communication,” he said. “We knew it was coming… but the letter we received was pretty benign.”

To read more about the road brushing in Gibraltar, click here>>