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When a tree falls on Main Street, who hears it?

Main Street has struggled to keep an identity over the years. The street has lost infrastructure and trees – sometimes these losses were unpreventable while other times the losses were caused by decades of neglect. Even now, when certain sections of the street are on the rebound, thanks to the growth of Medical Campus and Canisius, we still see cover ups like the one shown here at Delta Sonic. Why, when the rest of the city is planting trees, does Delta Sonic (and/or The City) decide that this urban block is better without them? How much money is The City spending on tree plantings each year? How
desperate is Main Street for new trees to be planted on blocks where
they have been decimated?

It was only recently that the trees lining the Delta Sonic block systematically died. I first noticed the problem last year. The location, directly across the street from Artspace, has become a city unto itself – one that has been built on cheap gas prices, decent filling station grub, and impressive car cleaning facilities. Delta Sonic knows its business. But do they know anything about what it takes to be a good green neighbor? It was actually in a BRO forum when I was first made aware (by Jes) that the tree beds outside of Delta Sonic were filled in with cement:

Does anyone know what happened to all the street trees on Main Street in front of Delta Sonic? There were about 10-15 trees all along the Main Street frontage, in poor condition. Almost every single one was dead or dying. Recently the trees were removed – but the tree wells were all filled in with concrete. Now no one can plant any trees there. Did the City do this, or Delta Sonic. Does anyone know?

How is it that this has happened? Does a business make enough money that it can simply decide what is best for the neighborhood, or the city, when it comes to trees? How did they die in the first place? That was pretty convenient considering the end result that we see today. There was a time in Buffalo that this was common practice along commercial districts like Main Street. Cover your windows with Dryvit, pour asphalt on the grass for additional parking (and no more maintenance), and contribute to the blight that has crept up to your front door. That was then, and this is now. Now these practices are inexcusable. The question is, “Who is to blame?” Another question is, “Who is going to call the culprit out for something that should be illegal?” Finally, “Who is going to pay to fix this blatant problem and eyesore?”

Unfortunately, Buffalo does not have a City Forester at this time period – that’s fairly convenient for anyone who wants to kill trees and replace tree beds with cement (if that is what happened). We do have Councilpeople though, and I plan on talking to Curtis Haynes this week to see if there is a solution to the problem. If there is no solution, then this act sets a precedent for any other business in Buffalo to look at the Delta Sonic affront as an OK practice – ‘make enough money and you too can remove your trees and fill the tree beds with cement’. I wonder how ReTree feels about this? We were once known as the City of Trees, not the City of Cement.

It’s an ongoing battle. If you want to see some of the trees issues that we are constantly facing on Main Street, then refer back to this post from 2008. 

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