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Should Curbside Trees be Replaced?

Why curbside trees can be a hinderance.

Here we go again. Supervisor Murray and Councilman Darcy have totally lost a basic reality check.

In their latest installment of junk mail from the Town of Hempstead, the Town is offering new curbside tree replacement for those in the unincorporated areas whose tree(s) were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

On paper this sound nice and replaces green to the neighborhood but the reality is:

1) Curbside trees and overhanging branches that fell took down power, phone and TV service lines.

2) Curbside trees are responsible for sidewalk lifting creating trip fall hazards.

3) Curbside trees block the needed sidewalk and street illumination from the few street lights on each residential block.

4) Curbside trees contribute to cracking and chipping of the curbs near them.

5) Curbside trees when grown hinder opening a vehicle door when legally parked between curb cuts.

6) In the fall leaves from curbside trees fall into streets, create an eye sore and hazardous condition when wet. Not to mention the number being washed down and covering storm drains. The property owners do not feel any leaves from their curbside tree is their responsibility to clean up once in the street.

7) When grown, curbside trees present a hazard over roadways to school buses and large trucks to include fire trucks when not maintained.

If the Town wants to replace trees then they should install a ordinance or minimum set back distance from the sidewalk and keep the curbside free of new plantings. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

diane j April 15, 2013 at 11:30 AM
We all get in our car everyday knowing the statistics of being in an accident yet we do it knowing sandy the dwi driver is out there because the positive of driving.g far outways the negative. The benefits of trees far out weighs the slim posibility of damage they may cause . The 5 large oak trees surrounding my home for 75 yrs have given generations beauty that can't be replaced
Lorraine DeVita April 15, 2013 at 02:40 PM
What i dont understand is why there isnt an systematic conversion plan being implemented where LIPA, Cablevision.Verizon, the TOH and the County start burying the cables.If all three of four service commerical providors absorbed a majority of the cost it would eventualy be MORE efficient and ultimately save THEM millions of dollars in repairs. It would be an investment in protecting their property and provide the consumer with a better level of service. Convert to underground SAVE the TREES!
Rebecca April 16, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Don't underestimate the cost. It would be in the Billions to retrofit and bury the thousands of linear miles of different cable types. You need to excavate (assuming there is nothing in the way, like existing underground utilities), provide different steel conduits for each utility (gas, electric, fiber optic, telephone, etc.), and keep them far enough apart - or encase them in concrete - to avoid interfering with each other. Plus extra pullboxes/manholes. And all that labor to do the research and the work. And don't forget either: NYC has underground utilities. Which got just as flooded out during Sandy. Burying cable is not the cure-all solution. Plant trees between the curb and buildings - that is the sensible thing to do.
Randy Stults April 16, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Rebecca-NYC underground system was installed by the Pilgrims when they came to the island. In todays world like in the RICH neighborhoods of LI they already have underground services. Some years ago the City of Palo Alto, CA VOTED to go underground. They approved a 10 year and only 10 year service charge of $10.00 per month and down came the poles and wires. Since water and natural gas were already there is was a easily done. House values increase, damage from wind and earthquakes dropped and neighborhood ambiance increased ten fold....But then again the people HAVE A VOICE there and sometimes get it right....
bill maron April 18, 2013 at 01:14 PM
If you dont replace curbside trees, you will eventually be a bleak city block. The trees selected don't rip up sidewalks. Replace every tree that is taken down.... we need them

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