Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Tree Grows In South Amherst

20.5" White Oak in front of 666 South East Street  (yellow caution tape around it)

The Planning Board voted 4-3 in favor of removing a 20.5" healthy white oak at the crest of a hill on scenic South East Street last night.  

But since Tree Warden Alan Snow disagreed with them, as did a single resident of the town who did so in writing, the controversy now goes to the Amherst Select Board, keepers of the public way.

 Alan Snow, Tree Warden; Christine Brestrup, Senior Planner

At their most recent meeting Monday night, at the urging of Mr. Snow, the Select Board officially declared April "Arbor Month."

Scenic Roads Public Hearing explanation

Unlike two and a half years ago this time the town is the petitioner to remove the tree, more specifically the DPW.  And yes Alan Snow is the DPW Director of Trees and Grounds, but his separate role as Tree Warden is a higher calling.

 Planning Board (still shy two members)

Assistant Town Manager Dave Ziomek told the Planning Board the removal of the tree would increase sight lines and improve safety ... a relatively "easy fix." 

But some members of the Planning Board thought that could contribute to an increase in speeding, a factor everyone seemed to agree was a problem on that road. 

In response to residents concerns over the past few years the town has installed new signs, increased police traffic enforcement, and trimmed trees along the roadway. 

 Sign at bottom of hill

Mr. Snow, however, reaffirmed the line he had drawn: "Pruning is one thing, but removal has to be taken seriously."

And in Amherst, it certainly is.




22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's true that cars really slow down when they get into an accident. Then they just stop.

Anonymous said...

My proposed solution is two speed bumps, one placed on either side of the crest of that hill. I would argue that that is more effective long-term than removing that tree.

Since I don't know it all, perhaps there's a problem with snow plowing caused by my proposal.

Driving that stretch of road at the posted speed limit becomes an intense study of someone's front grill in one's rear view mirror, and eventually a chance to inspect closely the middle digit of the trailing driver.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Or, if Rich's good idea doesn't pan out, simply install all-way "STOP" signs at the intersection with Valley View Drive, together with "Stop Ahead signs" in both directions along S. East St. about 500' before that intersection.

Anonymous said...

Drop a jersey barrier across the road and leave it there. Presto, two dead end streets and no more speeding cars. And no complaints please about having to travel a roundabout route to get downtwon. This is currently an approved fix at the Mill River bridge - why not use it elsewhere in town if it's so great?

Anonymous said...

If the Select Board want to make the calls, get rid of the Tree Warden.
They can use the salary they save to fund the cutting of trees.

Larry Kelley said...

It's actually very rare for the Select Board to make the call.

Anonymous said...

Even if they vote to take it down it will take Snow 2 years to do it. He don't work so fast. Kinda' slow getting anything done from my experience with him.

Anonymous said...

Alan Snow is one of the heroes of Amherst.

He is tree warden and a DPW employee.

In this particular case, he is standing up to his boss (G. Mooring) and his boss's boss (D. Ziomek, indirectly).

He is also standing up the Chris B. and Mickey R.--the bullies that live at 666 South East St.

Anonymous said...

Why does being insubordinate make you a hero? Bad message to send.

Anonymous said...

It's not being insubordinate - being Tree Warden is independent of his job at DPW. Larry or I (both certified Loraxes ;-) could also serve as tree wardens (if we did our homework).

Anonymous said...

Mr. Snow's job is a joke. He should be laid off and the money used for something worthwhile. Removing one tree for safety is not that big of a deal, if any at all.

Mark Warren said...

Anon 1:32 is right...a roundabout is the way to go! Just kidding...before someone calls me a douche again....it's called sarcasm. .

Anonymous said...

Nice literary allusion, Larry (to "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" - have you read it?)!

Larry Kelley said...

Yes.

Anonymous said...

Removing that one tree is not going to change the character of South East street.

Anonymous said...

"666" is the 'mark of the beast.'

Anonymous said...

What good idea? The speed bump? Pretty soon, Amherst will be one massive speed bump. Three on Cottage St. alone between Triagle and Chestnut. Please! Enough!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Damien.

Anonymous said...

Was Rich serious? His comments about grills and fingers were pretty funny….

Bruce Scofield said...

By providing oxygen and also carbon fixation that tree no doubt provides far greater benefits to the greater good than do humans who only degrade, pollute and thump their chests.

Anonymous said...

Trees good. Humans bad. Spoken like a true de-growther. Did trees cure polio?

Anonymous said...

As you wear your plastic sunglasses and polyester hat. Another fake green hypocrite.