Dangerous trees concern Southside residents

Author: Elizabeth Campbell, General assignment reporter, ecampbell@wjxt.com
Published On: Mar 07 2014 03:16:54 PM EST   Updated On: Mar 07 2014 07:41:02 PM EST
Dangerous trees
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

People in a Southside neighborhood are concerned about what they say are dangerous trees along Bedford Road.

It's a swampy area with hundreds of trees, and residents are concerned not only about the trees, but the water that tends to flood the area when it rains.

On Friday, concerned residents met with councilman Don Redman's assistant and a city forester.

"There's a whole lot of kids and people exercising and people on bikes that come right here where we're standing," resident Richard Cotsemmoyer said.

He said he's seen tree after tree go down in his neighborhood, and he has been concerned for quite some time.

"Years, actually, because I can remember two times when trees fell down across the street," Cotsemmoyer said.

Hundreds of leaning trees line Bedford Road. They're on city property, so Scott Wilson, Redman's assistant, and the city's forestry department, met with Cotsemmoyer and other residents Friday morning.

Two trees have been marked to come down. Wilson said it will be about two to three weeks. But another problem is the standing water that Cotsemmoyer said contributes to the weakening of the trees as well as flooding.

Neighbors said they will be happy if the trees are taken down, but they're also looking for a long-term solution, something like adding a ditch next to the sidewalk that will help control the standing water

Wilson can't make that decision but said he will recommend it, adding it's a suggestion that could be successful.

"I'm not an engineer, but when I was looking at it, I realized there's an inlet on one side and the other, so if we could cut out a ditch or area for water to go and drain towards those inlets, that might prevent any future problems or erosion from happening on his property," Wilson said.

Another problem there is the trash, and Wilson said crews will soon clean up some of the underbrush.

If there's a dangerous tree in your neighborhood and you are not sure if it's on city property, you can call 904-630-CITY to get guidance.