Road barrier divides neighborhood in Hampton

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by Eric Kane, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on May 19, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Updated Monday, May 19 at 11:33 PM

HAMPTON -- How do you get a police officer, the director of public works and the chief fire marshal to come out to your neighborhood? Put a giant slab of concrete in the middle of it.

That's what Danny Wilson and another neighbor did Sunday afternoon on Otley Road.
 
Wilson says it was a necessary move to deter traffic and crime in a neglected neighborhood.
 
"We got a lot of drugs and prostitution going on back here and the city's not doing nothing about it so we got their attention and blocked the road," said Wilson, who owns property along Otley.
 
Many neighbors tell 13News Now they didn't mind the blockade.
 
But a mother says her daughter was late to school when the bus couldn't get down the road.
 
"You have people coming from one end of the street and the people coming from the other end of the street can't get through because of the boulder," said Todd Pleasants, a realtor who is building two houses along the road.
 
Otley is a narrow street that connects with Moss Avenue.
 
It's a private road, but with so many land owners claiming parts of it, no one seemed to know who owned it.
 
"The city wanted to put us off, they didn't have the answers and they're the ones that ought to have it," said Patricia Johnson, Wilson's sister and land owner. "They couldn't tell us who owned the land."
 
Ultimately, after nearly two hours of discussion, the fire marshal ruled the rock had to go.
 
"I was asked by the public work director if they can have this unfortunately they can't this is a fire department access road we need it for emergency equipment to get through here," Maurice Wilson, Hampton's Chief Fire Marshal.
 
Despite some disappointment, some neighbors are claiming partial victory.
 
"We got their attention. We got all the city bosses down here today and they've never come down here, never," said David Born, a land owner.
 
Neighbors plan to attend a city meeting Wednesday to discuss possibly turning Otley into a one way street.

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