Overgrown trees blocking street lamps
Is there a reason long tree branches are allowed to extend over streets, whether private or public land? The branches extend over streets where it seems street lights should be the main priority for safety for both pedestrians and traffic. It is a concern on the makai side of Queen Street, behind the state Supreme Court building; along Nuuanu Avenue, just mauka of Kuakini Street; and at a private residence on Pahoa Avenue. I'm all for big trees, but the huge branches shouldn't be allowed to extend way over the street and not allow the lights to shine through.
Answer: The city Department of Parks and Recreation's Division of Forestry maintains city trees within city sidewalk areas, traffic medians and parks.
Pruning is not done specifically to address concerns about street lights, but public safety is a primary concern, said Deputy Parks Director Dana Takahara-Dias.
If maintenance is an issue, "the public is encouraged" to contact the forestry division at 971-7151.
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
This street lamp is partially obscured by the leaves and branches of a tree on Queen Street.
The division "will investigate and schedule tree work based on the priority of concern," Takahara-Dias said.
She said this was a good opportunity to lay out the areas of jurisdiction and who you should contact about any tree concerns. A forestry inspector checked on the trees you cited and reported:
» The monkeypod trees in question on Queen Street are not under city maintenance, but under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Accounting and General Services' Public Building Management Services. Call 831-6734.
» The forestry division will "selectively prune" two monkeypod trees within Kawananakoa Community Park, along Nuuanu Avenue, this month. A third monkeypod opposite the park is on private property and the private owner is responsible for its maintenance.
For concerns about trees on private property that impact pedestrian safety on city sidewalks, call the city Department of Planning and Permitting's Residential Housing Code Section, at 527-6308.
For concerns about private trees that hang over city roads, impeding vehicular traffic or causing sight concerns, contact the Honolulu Police Department.
Q: Who do we contact to take care of overgrown plants, around the base of trees planted on the sidewalks along Aala Street? There's also a big pothole on Aala Street, near the Salvation Army.
A: Call the city Forestry Division at 971-7151.
The pothole has since been repaired by the city Road Maintenance Division. Next time, call 527-6006 for potholes on city streets, or 536-7852 or 831-6714 on state roads.
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