From the Times Ledger:
Tensions have been high between Amtrak and residents of Boulevard Gardens in Woodside ever since the railroad company cut down a number of trees along the tracks in the neighborhood, but Amtrak’s recent promise to hire an arborist to replace the lost trees has made both sides feel as if an equitable solution is on the way.
Jimmy Lanza, 64, a former board president of Boulevard Gardens at 31st Avenue in Woodside, and a resident of the area for decades, said neighbors started coming to him as soon as it happened. He and others worked to contact Vallone and other politicians as well as members of the media.
Amtrak met with area residents about the tree removal Friday. [Amtrak spokesman Cliff] Cole said on that day that Amtrak admitted it had not communicated the initial tree removal to residents. The company also promised to hire a landscape artist who would replace the lost trees with low-lying shrubs and some replanting and refencing where appropriate.
Lanza said the residents have researched trees to replace those removed that are safe and will not require any maintenance on the part of Amtrak.
He said he is seeing Amtrak make some changes promised, such as removing the debris from the project. He is confident the community can find a compromise by using the arborist.
“It’s probably going to be acceptable to the majority of the community,” Lanza said.