Stump speech: city needs to finish the job
by Shane Miller
Apr 11, 2018 | 742 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The city was quick to remove the tree, but left behind a large stump and damaged sidewalk. Pictured from left to right are State Senator Tony Avella and residents Ron Paul and Darwin Figueroa.
The city was quick to remove the tree, but left behind a large stump and damaged sidewalk. Pictured from left to right are State Senator Tony Avella and residents Ron Paul and Darwin Figueroa.
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A tree that blew over in a March 2nd storm blocks 33rd Avenue.
A tree that blew over in a March 2nd storm blocks 33rd Avenue.
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The string of late winter and early spring nor'easters that hit the city were especially hard on the city's trees.

One particular storm in early March was particularly destructive, downing numerous large trees across State Senator Tony Avella's district in northeast Queens.

That included a tree near the intersection of 35th Avenue and 163rd Street. The city was removed the tree, which was blocking 35th Avenue, but over a month later there is still a big stump and severely uprooted sidewalk.

“The city was quick to remove the tree, but you have to finish the job,” said Avella. “I realize the weather might not be suitable to pour concrete, but you could at least put some asphalt down.

The state senator said it is just one of several similar locations he knows of in his district.

“It is disgraceful that the city would leave these conditions untouched and put an entire neighborhood in harm’s way,” he said. “It is unacceptable that residents are asked to live with a sidewalk that is unusable for this long.”

Avella has been critical of the Parks Department's care and maintenance of the city-owned street trees in the past, recently releasing the results of a survey he conducted that revealed hundreds of his constituents are fearful trees in front of their home are in imminent danger of falling.

Neighbor Ron Paul has been in touch with the owner of the home, who has been calling 311 to try and get the city to take action.

“At this point, she is worried about getting sued,” he said.

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