Trees 1: “Thomas Street now looks like a war zone, devoid of life, beauty, and charm.”

Still more Rosenbarger deforestation.

Part 2
Part 3

That’s right: It’s deja vu all over again.

Over the weekend, a conversation started at the Facebook group called New Albany Indiana, which is an excellent portal for local news and events.

A few neighbors who live on or near Thomas Street are upset because trees were cut down as part of the sidewalk replacement project there, and (stop me if you’ve heard THIS one before) they received neither forewarning nor an opportunity to offer an opinion on the topic.

And some of them are steamed. If for any reason you cannot view the page, here is a sampling of the comments. In fact, one of them composed and shared a “jeer” for the newspaper.

a JEER to the city of New Albany (or whoever is responsible) –

Thomas Street now looks like a war zone, devoid of life, beauty, and charm. Thank you (NOT!) for cutting down all of our trees. Some trees have been taken care of meticulously by their owners – beautiful, Bradford pear trees. Trees where the owners always had them trimmed. Trees that just had $600 spent on them a few months ago for trimming. Trees that are now pulverized.

Trees that are good for us, good for the environment, added shade, added beauty, added value to our homes and our neighborhood.

This was totally NOT necessary. This neighborhood is upset.

Cue the annoyed, as follows.

  • Why did they cut down the trees
  • Good question…..
  • They were NOT all diseased … our neighbors had planted beautiful pear trees along the side of their house (corner of Culbertson and Thomas) – they FAITHFULLY had them trimmed and kept them beautiful!!! In fact, just a couple of months ago they paid out $600 for them to be trimmed (which they did every year). They were NOT diseased. Our neighborhood looks TERRIBLE now!!!! Thomas Street used to look like a beautiful lane with the trees. Now it looks like a war zone.!!!!
  • New Sidewalks were put in on our other streets and few to no trees were cut down. Getting new sidewalks is a lousy excuse. I have lived here for 30 years and it looks TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!! I am so glad someone put this on here, because I have been prepared to write a letter to the Tribune and put a call into the Mayor’s office. This is one, VERY unhappy New Albany resident. We NEEDED those trees. They are good for the environment. They are good for our home values. They added beauty to this ugly, cruel world of ours. I. AM. NOT. HAPPY.!!!!!
  • Oh, and just one MORE thing – when the sidewalks were being put in earlier, the jack hammers were so loud and so hard, it literally shook our houses – and caused new cracks in our neighbor’s house!!! This may not be one of the ritzy, hotsy-totsy neighborhoods, but we have VERY nice older homes with an abundance of character (how many of YOU have seven stained glass windows, cedar lined window seats, beveled glass in your windows and mirrors, a built-in Belknap ice box in your kitchen)….but we take pride in our neighborhood and we have the BEST neighbors!!!
  • Same thing happened on Main Street – 72 trees (my count) were cut down in order to make New Albany a more ‘walkable’ city. Maybe it’s just me but I like my walk in the shade of those beautiful trees. I’ll vote for the neighbor’s cat before I vote for Gahan.
  • (I gently rebutted the preceding: “Let’s be emphatic: the Main Street project was about beautification (according to a solitary top-down $$$ definition) and not about walkability. Street trees are an essential component of walkability. Love it or hate it, the notion of walkability is about infrastructure design, not beautification.”
  • New Albany took a third of my front yard to widen the road and put sidewalks in. Crime is up, traffic of school buses all day long (choking us to death when on front porch) and the sidewalks look like maybe they got ripped off by a low ball bidder, and last but not least, they tore up my driveway and never repaired it. My driveway is now washing away and will cost me thousands to get it redone. New Albany also fined us $250 for having our trash sitting too close to our privacy fence. They said it was a fire hazard. Yes, New Albany loves their tax payers. I can tell.
  • This also happened to the beautiful shade trees in front of the National Cemetery on Ekin. I was also told they were diseased trees….ridiculous!!!!
  • Many of them were beautiful and well maintained. Now, this street – which needs all the help it can get- looks plain U.G.L.Y. and very non-inviting.
  • Dead trees are one thing. Diseased trees fall within the same category. Beautiful trees that are serving many purposes, all positive, ….quite another. Seems as if someone decided that this was blighted property.

If Jeff Gahan allergic to transparency?