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ASK YOUR GOVERNMENT: Too many potholes in Grand Forks alleys? And what’s the speed limit near a business?

Each week, Herald reporter Charly Haley answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics.

Q. The alley in the 400 and 500 blocks of 22nd Avenue South in Grand Forks is always full of potholes, especially in the past couple of years. The city comes and repairs it only to have the potholes return a couple of days later. Can the city do anything more to fix this?

A. It looks like you’re not the only one seeing this problem. According to Grand Forks Streets Superintendent Mark Aubol, this is a common problem with the gravel alleys that have a high number of garages or access in the back of the property.

The higher amount of traffic on the gravel causes it to become rough and create potholes, he said.

“We cannot reshape the alley until it dries from the frost and spring rains,” Aubol said. “Crews have started working on the alleys in Grand Forks, but it is a slow process due to the weather.”

Additionally, the streets department is trying a new method — recycled material instead of gravel in the alleys.

“This material seems to hold up better than gravel,” Aubol said.

Q. Is there a standard speed limit for frontage roads connecting parking lots such as the ones on 32nd Avenue South near all the retail stores? There’s nothing posted on some of those roads so I’m curious if a speed limit exists. While we’re talking parking lot safety, some stores have stop signs near the doors and some don’t. Is that at the store’s discretion?

A. The Grand Forks Police Department does not have jurisdiction on private property, according to Lt. Dwight Love.

That means some of the streets that look like frontage roads are actually private drives owned by the businesses and police cannot set a speed limit. This is the same rule for the stop signs near the doors of businesses, he said.


Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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