Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stopping at the border

Why did LIRR tree cutting stop in Little Neck at the border?

Dear editor (of the Times Ledger):

I am writing in response to your article last week regarding the LIRR's tree pruning along their tracks. I am a LIRR customer and I was infuriated to see the wholesale elimination of trees along the tracks from Auburndale to Main Street on the Port Washington line. From reading your article it appears this has happened all the way to the Queens-Nassau border. It's funny that they "stopped" only after they pretty much decimated whatever trees were standing.

I find it hard to believe that there was no other solution for leaves blowing on the tracks. This "solution" that was chosen lacked any creative thinking and was a complete overreaction. Unfortunately, this overreaction will not stop leaves from blowing on the tracks.

I feel especially bad for those residents that live next to the tracks and the station platforms. I'm sure they appreciate the extra noise and even the commuters peering into their residences from the platforms, previously blocked by nature's natural barriers - some which took decades to grow. All the LIRR did was add to the quality-of-life problems that are facing northeast Queens.

For those trees that the LIRR "pruned" on people's private property, were arborists consulted? Did an arborist perform an impact study of the effects of "pruning" more than half a tree on one side? Did the LIRR hire individuals with a specialty in pruning trees?

At a time when the city is initiating a program to plant over 1 million trees in the coming years, the LIRR is doing its best to rid the area of anything green. It's very ironic.

One other piece of your article that really annoyed me was that the tree pruning stopped at Little Neck and Douglaston. Why did they stop there? Why didn't they start in Nassau County in Port Washington, Manhasset or Plandome which have way more trees than their counterpart stations in Queens?

Are the trees in Nassau magic trees that do not cause any sort of damage? The communities affected are outraged and we are tired with being treated with such disregard. Complaints to the new MTA president have not been addressed adequately. I don't believe that it is necessary to pay high property taxes in order to be heard. It is well documented that residents in Nassau are more proactive in protecting their rights and neighborhoods, so did that take precedent over choosing Queens over Nassau? I'll bet it did.

Jim Forkan
Flushing, NY

Photo from Queens Chronicle


Anonymous said...

Of course it did. You'll get angry then forget about it. The politicians are counting on it.

Anonymous said...

For the record, Nassau has been decimated by this as well. Just wanted to get that out there. Drive down Sunrise highway along the Babylon line and it's despicable what's been done.

Anonymous said...

Well, Jim, everyone knows that Queens has no real civics with teeth (so many deals are made and awards given to politicans that they are little more than backyard downzone coffee klatches)

So of course anyone with a permit can do anything and by the time everyone can discover it, clear their throats, and ready a polite letter the nasty deed is done.

Leaves on tracks? Sure. Sure.

How about concerns from possible terrorists hiding in Queens gorgous mosaic? Oh, we don't talk about those things in Queens, do we?

Anonymous said...

They cut the trees?!?!

When I commuted from the Little Neck station we used to pick blackberries from bushes growing next to the platform. And one of the houses had chickens and chicken coops nearby.

And no, this wasn't the 1930's. Try 1984.

Why they suddenly can't handle leaves is a mystery.

Tree Health Expert said...

I am a Certified Arborist and am involved in tree preservation and have written specifications for tree care on large scale projects. You have to realize that "volunteer" weed trees grow along the train tracks and grow quickly. The LIRR has to provide the public with safe trains that run on time. This proactive tree pruning and removal is necessary vegetation management to ensure this safety and prevent costtly lapse in service. The practices may be looked at more closely, but unfortunately, it needs to happen.

Peter Felix
Tree Health, Farmingdale

Queens Crapper said...

That's nice, Peter, but it doesn't explain why trees on the Queens side were cut while trees on the Nassau side remain.