Watch your head
The sky isn't falling in Anacostia but errant tree branches certainly are. A resident said he contacted the District Department of Public Works and the mayor's office about removing a dead tree that was felled during Snowmageddon nearly a year ago from the corner of 19th and P streets in southeast. Did you know that it's actually the folks over at the Urban Forestry Administration, an arm of the District Department of Transportation who call themselves d.Trees, who are responsible for tree removal on public property? The Daily Gripe didn't either.
Hillcrest resident Jason Anderson said he sent pictures of a branch that recently fell and hit a child playing on the sidewalk to 311 and got no response in a notification through See Click Fix. Anderson and other residents are especially concerned because there is a deaf child in the area who won't be able to hear a branch if it falls.
"An arborist has examined the tree and determined that it suffers from Dutch Elm Disease," said John Lisle, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation. "We will visit the property owner again and notify them of their responsibility to make it safe."
The agency offers a program to qualified homeowners who can't afford to remove or trim hazardous trees. The Income Contingent Program for Hazardous Tree Removal provides free tree removal services for low-income residents who satisfy the requirements.
The D.C. Council passed a law last year authorizing the Urban Forestry Administration to dedicate 15 percent of the District's Tree Fund--comprised of private donations, permitting fees and penalties related to the D.C. Tree Bill -- to the program. (For details, call 202-671-5133).
Two other large trees across the street near the Deaf Child sign also have fallen branches and debris at their base. It's unclear if the trees are on public or private property, as they are sitting on a patch of grass on the corner behind an apartment building outside of the building's silver gate. The building sits at 1941 Naylor Rd. SE.
If the debris is on private property, it's the responsibility of the property owner to remove it. To make a request for debris removal on public property, residents can call 311, which Anderson said he did. Which agency is responsible? The Department of Public Works. Yes, we're confused too.