2003-01-18 / Editorial/Opinion

Trees Are Nice, But They Can Be Deadly

Trees Are Nice, But They Can Be Deadly

The goal for road builders in the last century was to build them straight and long and line them with large trees. The trees now only looked nice, but they blocked some of the sound of speeding cars from reaching homes nearby. When Cross Bay Boulevard was built, the road was lined with majestic maples, trees not indigenous to the area. It gives the road a nice look, but it also helps to make it deadly, witness the fatal accident on the road last week and any number of previous accidents in the same area. The problem is, there is no place for errant automobiles to go. In a sense, the accident scenario on Cross Bay Boulevard is similar to the accident scenarios under the Rockaway Freeway. A car goes into a skid and it had no place to go but into a pillar under the speedway and it has no place to go but into a large, sturdy tree on Cross Bay. We discussed this recently with an officer of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. He has responded to many accidents on the stretch of Cross Bay between Broad Channel and the Joseph P. Addabbo (North Channel) Bridge. Too many fatal accidents, he says. While he understands that many of the accidents are caused by speeding, he recommends that the trees and poles that line the boulevard be either removed or moved farther from the road itself. We took a quick tour during the daylight hours the day after the latest accident and we would have to agree. If the trees and poles had not been lining the roadway right at the roadbed, the car would have slid into the safer and gentler wooded area that lines the road. There is no doubt in our minds that the driver might have been hurt, but he just as certainly would not have died.

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