MTA chops down trees across Long Island neighborhood, angering residents

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BELLEROSE, NY — Families along Superior Road by the Bellerose train station for the Long Island Rail Road are angry that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had trees cut from behind their backyards.

“I’m enraged,” said Paul Quinn. “The value of the properties must’ve gone down $40-50 thousand."

In a letter, the MTA told residents that they needed to manage the vegetation along the train tracks.

The letter says they would “identify and remove” overgrown trees, but families say the crews sent by the MTA just arbitrarily cut everything down- with seemingly no rhyme or reason.

“I said I want some evidence of the species you’re removing because the letter says specific species the man told me we were just told to take everything,” said Janet Schebendach. “There’s nothing to block the sun, there’s nothing to block the wind nothing to block the noise."

The families say they are exploring legal remedies since they feel their homes have devalued due to the MTA cutting down the trees.

The MTA said in a statement:

"When leaves fall onto tracks and are crushed by passing trains, the resulting residue creates a slippery condition on the rails, and when tree limbs fall the results can be even worse. For the safety of our customers and employees, and to improve service reliability for tens of thousands of customers, the LIRR aggressively removes, or trims back trees and brush on LIRR property. While we strive to be good neighbors and will look into the complaint, we must continue to control vegetation growth on LIRR property so as not to compromise the safety and resiliency of the railroad.”

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