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.
Photo from Queens Chronicle