"The city should do what the law requires, which is a full environmental impact statement," says the plaintiffs lawyer.
Previously, we wrote about the city's plan to redo the Bronx's Pelham Parkway, including adding guardrails that would require killing at least 80 of the century-old trees lining the road. Last week, the trees -- represented by the Pelham Parkway Preservation Alliance and attorney William J. Madonna -- won a restraining order in Bronx County Supreme Court against the city, according to the Village Voice.
The Pelham Parkway Preservation Alliance has been vocal in its insistence that the trees can safely co-exist with changes to the Parkway. "We're not against safety improvements or road improvements," David Varenne, co-founder of the Alliance, told the Voice, "but we want it done with the foremost care. [The trees are] a defining character of the Bronx. They add to the property value and desirability to the neighborhood."
Adds Madonna, "The trees are not doing a tap dance into the middle of the street. They aren't reaching down and grabbing cars."
The Alliance took their case to court, requesting that the city stop all construction, remove all construction vehicles, and not cut down any trees. They asked the city to have a third party perform and release environmental impact statements about the project. They also requested the city appoint a lead agency to administer the entire project, since there's been some apparent confusion on which agency, exactly, is ultimately responsible.
Pelham Parkway Trees Win a Restraining Order Against the City
Village Voice - Oct. 18 2010 - By Valerie Vande Panne
DOT To Kill 87 Pelham Parkway Trees - Official Insults Regis Philbin
A Walk In The Park - August 14, 2010 - By Geoffrey Croft