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A freshly paved 176th Street in Springfield Gardens sits at the edge of town, but in the center of a firestorm for local residents.
Some of the homeowners who live near the newly-created road said they are upset with the increase in traffic and the condition of homes built by United Homes.
“We have to find out what went wrong and how we ended up in this shabby situation,” founder of the Queens Community Council and Development Assoc., Inc., Warren G. McCain, said.
Community members said they were told there would be a cul-de-sac at the end of 132nd Avenue, but now the road is paved through and the dead end they once had to protect their street is now gone.
“You’ve got to wake up in the middle of the night and take stock of what is happening,” local resident Gray Payne told the crowd of 20 that gathered recently at the intersection.
Payne said the new road is making it dangerous for children in the area because of the increase in speeding traffic.
Another concern locals have is with the multiple-family dwellings built in the area. Gloria Haigler said the new homes have put extra strain on much of the area’s infrastructure.
“We don’t have a problem with the buyers,” said Haigler. She added that she takes issue with the increased stress on the school system, sewer system, and how many of the local homes’ basements flood.
Joe Natal, Vice President for United Homes, said he did not know of any problems with flooding in the basements of homes the company has built. He added that if there are problems with the homes it is something United Homes would address.
“We do work with the communities we build in,” Natal said.
As for the newly-created road, Natal said those were from the plans of the original developer and all the designs went through the necessary approval process.
Despite United Homes’ claim that they followed correct procedure in building the houses, community members are still pushing for answers.
“We will go to any ends to fight for what is right for citizens and this community as a whole,” McCain said.
Phillip Goldfeder, Queens Director of Community Affairs for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was at the meeting to try to help residents with their problems.
“What I’m telling you is that you don’t have to fight with City Hall,” he said. “City Hall is here on your block.”
Goldfeder told the residents they could contact 3-1-1 to get the Department of Transportation (DOT) to get them to look at the problems they see with the elimination of their dead end streets. He also said they can send their complaints to him and he will try to figure out ways to alleviate the problem.
“I can’t wave a magic wand and make the problems go away,” Goldfeder said. “But I’m here to work with you.”

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