A city contractor, apparently short on time or signposts, screwed metal “No Parking” signs to trees along Meserole Street in Williamsburg, angering neighbors and injuring the trees.
Empire Management and Construction, which asked the city for a permit to do construction along the block between Graham and Manhattan avenues, bolted three of the transportation-department-issued placards to three trees to clear the work area of vehicles, to the consternation of area plant-lovers who say a threat to the air-cleaning flora is a threat to them.
“Maybe we need a public service announcement so that people understand how trees can be damaged and the cost to replace trees,” said activist Teresa Toro. “This is not just about aesthetics. Damage to trees leads to sickness and death of the trees and that is a public health issue.”
A Department of Transportation rep said on Wednesday that the agency inspected the trees on Meserole after a reporter notified it of the situation and that it will ticket the builder. The rep declined to say if there is a fine associated with the citation.
The city issues more than 100 sidewalk and roadway construction permits to utility companies, contractors, government agencies, and homeowners annually. The permits come with the “No Parking” signs, which, according to city rules, must be attached to posts or guardrails.
The city was not immediately sure what Empire Management and Construction’s permit was for. The company could not be reached for comment.