Sad Sacs: Cul-de-Sac Maintenance

shutterstock_318490325Cul-de-sacs have several important advantages. From the perspective of residents, the model offers quiet, safe streets where children can play, and people can walk, jog, and bike, with little fear of fast-moving traffic. A comparative study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that residents “… preferred the cul-de-sac as a place to live … they felt cul-de-sac streets were safer and quieter because there was no through-traffic and what traffic there was moved slowly.”1 Residents also were more likely to know their neighbors.

Lately, while on site visits, the Association’s Covenant Advisor has noticed that a number of cul- de- sacs are unmaintained and unkempt. While the cul-de-sacs belong to Howard County, the maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowners whose driveways surround and open onto the cul-de-sac. The expectation is that residents will join with other neighbors to maintain the islands. If your cul-de-sac has not formalized a maintenance plan, now is the time to do so! The residents on some streets have developed a mowing schedule so it is clear who is responsible each week. Other streets have decided that the best solution is to share the cost and pay a contractor who is regularly in the area.

There are some streets in the village where residents have worked together to install attractive, low maintenance landscaping that reduces the need to mow. Instead, they make it a periodic neighborhood event to get together to weed and spread new mulch. Do you like the idea of beautifying your cul-de-sac island and minimizing mowing? If so, contact the Association’s Covenant Advisor to find out more about the process and apply for one of two, $300 grants available this year.

Whatever your solution, we encourage you to work together to find one that works given the abilities and interests of your neighbors.


  1. Southworth, Michael and Eran Ben-Joseph, “Reconsidering the Cul-de-Sac” Access Magazine Vol. 24, Spring, 2004. Web. 18 July 2016.
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