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Board Questions Some Trees Now Growing in Brooklyn

One Flatbush thoroughfare may have gone a little too green for local activists.

At the December meeting of Community Board 14, board Chair Alvin Berk questioned the planting of trees on a newly installed median on Ocean Avenue, just north of Church Avenue.

The median is intended as a traffic calming device, and was installed in conjunction with changes being made along Church Avenue and nearby streets by the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to reduce traffic congestion along the busy street.

“I question whether it’s safe,” Berk noted after Transportation Committee Chairperson Morris Sacks delivered a report on the most recent public meeting held with respect to the Church Avenue Congested Corridor study. Berk said he was “astonished” to see the trees on the median.

“Parks was asked to evaluate whether they could plant on some of the medians,” Sacks replied.

“That’s from an arboreal perspective. What about from a traffic safety and visibility and potential impact perspective?” Berk went on.

“They didn’t think about potential impacts when they designed this, so why would they think about the trees?” Sacks responded.

While the agency did not reveal the thinking behind the planting of the trees, this paper was told that DOT’s borough engineering division will survey the location and install additional signage on the island if it’s determined to be necessary to improve safety, according to the agency, which also said that questions about specific types of plantings should be directed to the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation.

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