Roads in Lake County can have a variety of entities responsible. The primary highways, such as Routes 29, 53, 20, 281, and 175 are maintained by the State (Caltrans). Many other primary and secondary roads are maintained by governmental agencies such as the County, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and several quasi-governmental agencies such as Special Districts.
These roads generally have unrestricted public access, but may be seasonally restricted, such as with a locked gate. However, a greater total mileage of roads are privately maintained. Many of these "private" roads are truly private; there is no dedication of easement for public access. These are often referred to as "private-private" roads. Most, however, have some dedication that allows for access by the general public. They are referred to as "private-public" roads. Both types can be gated, but only the "private-private" roads can have permanently restricted or controlled access, such as with a locked gate.
The California Civil Code requires the cost of maintenance for both types of privately maintained roads to be shared equitably by the landowners benefiting from those roads. Lacking a formal agreement between landowners, the Code requires an equal share contribution from each landowner. This is enforced through civil action, in other words by a neighbor suing a neighbor.