11/09/11 — Neighborhood pothole battle continues

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Neighborhood pothole battle continues

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on November 9, 2011 1:46 PM

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A large pothole on East April Lane has been filled by residents, but residents are still concerned about what they say are bad road conditions.

The wheels are in motion to create a neighborhood group in the suburbs north of Buck Swamp Road between Perkins and Salem Church roads which could lead to better days for the paved roads that traverse the development.

The suburbs, which were developed by Bill Lane, have succumbed to the wear and tear of daily use, especially since the roads have emerged as a cut-through for commuters heading to the city each morning. Controversy recently arose, however, concerning who was responsible for the maintenance of the roads.

The issue hit a fever pitch when residents vocalized their concerns about a large pothole the size of a kiddie pool on East April Lane earlier this year, but inquiries revealed that, because the state department of transportation did not take over the road when the development was begun, the individual property owners were the ones responsible for the maintenance.

That large pothole has since been filled with cement by an enterprising resident who sought out financial assistance from others in the neighborhood, but Lane issued a letter to the property owners months ago saying that if they could band together and form a homeowners association, he would repave the road.

The association would be responsible for maintaining the development following the repaving as the costs would be able to be defrayed through universal participation.

That could also help to get the roads taken over by NCDOT, since the association could require homes to remove brick abutments and mailboxes and prohibit the filling in of ditches, which leads to poor runoff and more potholes.

Bill Adams, a resident on McWood Place, is concerned about other potholes on Adler and Lanetree streets, especially since both his wife and daughter have lost tires due to poor road conditions on those streets.

Still, if forming a group could fix the issue for good, he said he's all for it.

"They've gotten together when they were getting close to the annexation and we fought and developed a community," he said, adding that his neighbors and he could certainly use this as another opportunity to rally together to make their neighborhood a better place.

But Lane seems to be skeptical.

"I kept them roads up until about three or four years ago, but then I realized these people are never going to take responsibility if I keep fixing the roads. Why they don't form a homeowners association is beyond me. They won't do it."

Lane said he hopes this new movement will be in earnest and lead to some actual change, but he cautioned that it wasn't the first time a homeowners association has been proposed.

"If they can't get no participation they're right back to square one," he said, though he added things were looking up for the development. "It's certainly going in the right direction but I haven't seen how far it's going to go yet."