In an editorial titled “Stockade side-walk about” the Schenectady Daily Gazette has once again called for saving the Stockade’s trees, even if it means not repaving some of its sidewalks — and even if it takes a year or two to hammer out the details with Stockade residents. (June 25, 2010) See our prior posting “The Gazette favors trees over sidewalks,” April 17, 2010, reporting on that day’s Gazette editorial.
Today’s editorial says Stockade residents:
“were entirely right in condemning the city’s act of environmental vandalism two years ago when it chopped down some majestic old trees on North Ferry Street while repaving the street and redoing the sidewalks there. It was a major mistake, compounded by the fact that the city didn’t consult people in the neighborhood before doing it.”
[See our posting of June 18, 2010 (with numerous photos) covering a recent Gazette news article blaming No. Ferry St. lessons for a delay in repaving Washington Ave.]
The editorial also notes that the City “messed up” on No. Front Street when it did not enter into contracts with every property owner and did not collect from all of those who had extras like brick or bluestone installed during the sidewalk repaving. It quotes General Services Commissioner Carl Olsen saying he won’t start the sidewalk work until he has signed contracts and money up-front from residents on Washington Ave.
Like the proprietor of this weblog (prior post), the Gazette asserts that the fate of the trees on Washington Avenue — even those “whose roots have heaved some of the sidewalks” — “shouldn’t be left to residents to decide about keeping, or be responsible for.” The editorial concludes:
“Even if it costs extra to reroute the sidewalk around large trees, as was done on Lowell Road in the GE Plot, that’s how it should be done and the city should pay for it. If rerouting isn’t possible, then the street should be repaved without redoing the sidewalk.
“And if it takes another year or two to work all this out, that’s OK. It takes a lot longer than that to grow a tree.”
Many thanks to the Gazette opinion staff.