Talk about a backlog!
Brooklyn is buried under tree trunks, because the trio of vehicles that haul off the borough’s felled boughs is breaking down too fast to keep pace with tumbling timber, according to a Parks Department spokesman.
“These vehicles are worked very heavily,” he said. “And of the three log loaders in Brooklyn’s fleet, we have had two or three out of service for much of the past three months.”
Parks officials say busted “log loaders” — tractor-trailers with trunk-gripping cranes — are typically repaired and back in action within a few days, but local leaders say the machines just cannot hack it.
It took more than two months for the agency to clear away three fallen fauna in Shore Road Park that blocked a stretch of pathway between 85th and 88th streets, according to Community Board 10 district manager Josephine Beckmann, who said the department’s log loader troubles have deep roots.
The agency should be ashamed over delays in removing landbound Linden trees and toppled Turkish filberts, a frequent park-goer said.
“What am I suppose to do when a tree blocks my path? Stand there for two months and wait for them to remove it?” said Gretchen Mueller, 93, who often strolls though Shore Road Park. “A week or two, okay, but two months? I can’t hop over a tree, that ship has sailed in my life. It sounds like they really need to buy more equipment.”
The loaders’ hefty price tags can easily exceed $250,000 — a big reason the city does not have more of them, the parks spokesman said.
Meantime, Brooklyn’s municipal arborists make due by borrowing other boroughs’ trunk trucks, sending crews to cut the timber into pieces small enough to be hauled away by hand, and teaming container trucks with log loaders to increase the amount of wood they can haul at once.
Brooklyn’s three tree haulers carried off 316 plants after just two particularly violent thunderstorms on July 18 and July 25, but the city doesn’t have numbers on how many downed trees are still awaiting removal, because that figure is constantly in flux, the Parks Department spokesmen said.
The city also employs contractors to help remove trees after major storms, the parks spokesman said.
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