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Residents Decry Slated Removal Of Trees In Ridgewood

Patch logo Patch 4 days ago Logan Williamson
Residents at a recent village council meeting advocated in support of preserving trees in their neighborhoods, for reasons of shade and increases in property values. © Shutterstock Residents at a recent village council meeting advocated in support of preserving trees in their neighborhoods, for reasons of shade and increases in property values.

RIDGEWOOD, NJ — At Wednesday's Village Council Meeting, a Ridgewood resident said that she loves to walk the sidewalks under the canopy of a tree-lined street, yet now the sidewalks and trees are "colliding," as the tree roots lift the sidewalks and demand their space.

She and other residents, complained that homeowners, particularly on South Irving Street, would be faced with a decision to either lose municipal trees on their properties to allow for sidewalk repair or pay for additional work, such as ramping over or paving around the roots, to preserve the tree themselves.

Homeowners, one resident said, might not opt to assume the costs of the extra masonry, and she asked that, instead, the council allocate funds in the budget to preserve the trees, or, at the least, put a pause on tree removal until another alternative is agreed upon.

Sidewalk repairs, specifically on South Irving Street, however, are on pause right now, Village Manager Heather Mailander said. But pausing repairs could lead to a "dangerous situation," Councilwoman Lorraine Reynolds said, now that schools are resuming classes soon and children will be walking the sidewalks.

"I don't want the trees removed, but we have to figure out something fast," Reynolds said.

Still, in further deliberation, a possible solution to the issue of satisfying both the goal of maintaining sidewalks and preserving trees was offered — rubberized sidewalks.

The resident who proposed the idea said that the village should research whether that might be a good idea. Councilman Paul Vagianos said that the engineering department could look into the rubberized sidewalks to find out more about them.

"Nobody wants to see a healthy tree removed under any circumstance," Vagianos said at the meeting. "It is not in anyone's interest or desire."

Apparently, Mayor Susan Knudsen said, the village had looked into the idea of a pilot program involving rubberized sidewalks a few years ago to see if it would be "doable." But nothing came of it. She said that if the idea was doable, it would be a great option to save the trees and resolve the sidewalk issue.

"It would be a win-win," she said. "Every time a tree comes down, it is painful for me. It is a travesty."

The article Residents Decry Slated Removal Of Trees In Ridgewood appeared first on Ridgewood-Glen Rock Patch.

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