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Bumpy Road Ahead: Quince Avenue Among Galloway Township Streets in Need of Repair

Most residents moved into their homes in 2006. Seven years later, they're still waiting to see repairs done on their streets.

Jay Patel has seen it before: a car turns off Jimmie Leeds Road onto Quince Avenue going too fast and –pop—their tire goes flat.

Only in this case, too fast is 40 miles an hour, the speed limit. The flat tire is the result of a manhole cover sticking up above the rest of the street. And to say he’s seen it before is to say it happens about once a week.

Patel’s lived on Quince Avenue since February of 2010. Within six months of moving in, Patel said he’d spent $1,000 fixing his car because the curb leading into his driveway was too high.

Like many people on his street, he set up pieces of plywood to drive up into his own driveway. When it rains, the plywood floats away. Parts of the road also flood and hold water longer than normal because there are no gutters. There are no street lights.

“I’ve asked the township manager and he told me the case was in court,” Patel said. “It’s been a long time. We are paying taxes here. Where does my money go? Why am I paying taxes?”
Many of the residents on Quince Avenue began moving into their homes in 2006, including Abul Sarwar.

“I moved here in 2006,” Sarwar said. “It was like this, but they said they would fix it soon.”

The builder who developed about half of Quince went bankrupt before the entire street could be finished. Half of the street was handled by a different developer, and one can tell the difference just by driving down the street, which is completely paved from houses 323-340.

The builder put a deposit with a bond company, which still has the money. On Tuesday night, March 12, Township Solicitor Michael Fitzgerald acknowledged how difficult retrieving the deposit from such a company can be, stating it may take a lawsuit to get it back. Council indicated it would like to see the process move quickly, and it was possible the township may front the money to have the project finished first and then pursue the money from the bond company.

The sense of urgency among council members is no doubt driven by a sense of urgency from the residents, at least in part.

Hamidul Haque recently took a drive up and down his street with Mayor Don Purdy, when Purdy gave him a ride home from his auto body shop. Haque had taken his car in to get work done. He’s had his alignment done three times in the last nine months, he said.

“I talked to the mayor, and he said within three months, it would be all done,” Haque said.

On Wednesday, Purdy confirmed that was the time frame he gave Haque.

“We want to see this get done,” Purdy said. “We’re definitely working on it.”

Quince is not the only street facing this situation. Down the street, Meadows Drive and Elton Lane are among the streets with similar problems, although residents in that area see it as more of an inconvenience than anything else.

“We were told it was a temporary thing,” Meadows Drive resident Wallace Reeves said. “We were told the builder was responsible for paving the road, but he had to sell so many units first.”

Reeves was not aware that the developer had gone bankrupt. He’s lived in his home just over two years.

“I haven’t seen any serious accidents, but it would be nice to get it done.”

“It’s not a big deal,” said Ujjaval Patel, who also lives on Meadows Drive. “The road just needs to be leveled off.”

For those on Quince, it is a big deal. Jay Patel and Sarwar spoke about organizing a petition to be taken to the township.

“I’m working two days a week,” Patel said. “It’s a tough economy and we’re all paying our taxes. This is not up to me; they have to fix the road.”

Hank Chandless March 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM
As someone who lives on Quince, I don't ask the township for much, paved streets and garbage pickup. . . oh well, "swing and a miss" at both.
tirepatch March 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM
has anyone thought of painting the manhole with bright pink day glow paint that they use on the streets to mark stuff,so the lid sticking up can be seen by drivers. so they dont hit it. it would make it stand ou tuntill they pave the street.
Carisa March 14, 2013 at 02:03 PM
As someone who lives on Elton Lane, and someone who corresponds regularly with neighbors, I can tell you it is not considered "not a big deal"! We are extremely frustrated with not having our road finished. As a result of our road not being completed, we are not the responsibility of the township to maintain. We do not get our streets plowed when it snows and do not have leaf collection nor does anyone remove our Christmas trees after the holiday.
Dan Russo March 14, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Been here since 06' and will believe it will be paved when I see it.
Anthony Bellano (Editor) March 14, 2013 at 02:16 PM
I'm sorry, Carisa. Some of the people I spoke to for the story weren't as concerned as some of the residents on Quince. However, the phrase "not a big deal" is probably the wrong phrase to use.
Carisa March 14, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Thank you Anthony. I knew it wasn't your phrase. We have lived here for over 5 years, and it is extremely frustrating to have to fight for something that was promised to be done. I appreciate you bringing this topic to light!
JerseyDevil March 14, 2013 at 02:50 PM
It's a disgrace what the township has become in my opinion. Everybody knows the bottom fell out when the markets crashed in '07 which put the township and every other community in dire straits. But Galloway, it seams to me, has handled it very badly. How has that bond not been recovered by Galloway? Who vetted the developer in the first place? If the bond is so "hard to get" what the heck good is it? Who failed us here, Zoning, Planning, Construction or all of the above? Our Township needs leadership. They spent months dickering about a prayer. Give me a break. Somebody needs to grab the bull by the horns and start moving this place in the right direction. There isn't anything wrong with wanting our Township to be a nice place to live that all residents can be proud of.
Charles Michel March 14, 2013 at 03:22 PM
every part of a project is inspected and signed off on by a inspector . the township and the contractor both pay a engineering company to design and inspect the work , so pull the paper work and see who signed that the work was done correctly before issuing the CO for the homes in the development ? the person and the firm that approved the job should pay . not the township
Ron Schreiber March 14, 2013 at 07:28 PM
No body "Care's" 6 years still not done ..???
GalRes19 March 15, 2013 at 02:23 AM
Mr. Michel - It is Township policy (most municipalities in fact) that the final course of asphalt is not placed until the subdivision is built out. This is to ensure that the road when accepted by the town is not dmaged by constuction vehicles or delivery trucks. Due to the housing market being in the toilet, most subdivisions started in the last ten years have not reached full build out. As a result their performance bonds are still active and the roads have not been approvved by anyone. Therefore, the only one to blaim is the builder for not selling all the lots, not the engineering firm or the township. COs are issued before final acceptance of roads. This is obviously a process you are not familiar with but think you have knowledge about. Don't go pointing fingers when you have absolutely no idea about the subject being discussed and the processes involved.
JerseyDevil March 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM
I have a question for you since you seem to be in the know. When would the Township, when the developer of a site has failed, go after that bond and get that road paved? Is that in the policy you've named above. Then if a new developer comes is they can be bonded for the purposes of restoring damages that they make. These unfinished developments look like blight to me quite frankly and it's time something be done about it.
Christine March 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM
As a resident on Elton Lane, I can tell you that this has been the most frustrating process to deal with. I have been in talks with the township manager for the past two months trying to determine if the bond can be pulled. Last I had heard they were calling the bank that had taken over the project. More interesting is that the builder who claimed bankruptcy is building a new project 100 yards from ours. Even more frustrating is that the builder who claimed bankruptcy rents so many of the houses in the neighborhood that he gets the majority vote in the HOA so we get nothing accomplished.
Christine March 15, 2013 at 01:08 PM
@GalRes19 - The last house in our neighborhood has been done for quite some time. Anyway, township is working with us to try and get some where. Just wanted to make sure I put that out there.
Hookiss March 15, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Who is (was the developer?
JerseyDevil March 15, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Really? Now this is getting interesting.
Joshua DeLeon April 04, 2013 at 12:00 AM
This manhole cover totaled my car. :( Twp said it had immunities when I consulted a lawyer.

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