2009-11-12 / Letters to the Editor

Keep sight lines clear

This fall, the town of Jamestown received a number of complaints about trees and shrubs blocking the sight line of drivers at road intersections. All intersections must have clear visibility on all corners, even if there are no traffic signs or signals. If trees or shrubs block sight lines, drivers are forced to inch into the roadway to see oncoming traffi c, which can be extremely dangerous.

The town owns a right-of-way along all town streets and roads, and the planting of trees and shrubs in this area requires a permit from the town tree warden. Where trees or shrubs are planted on the rightof way with a permit, the adjacent property owner is responsible for trimming to keep sight lines open. If not, the town has a responsibility to trim for public safety. Trees and shrubs planted without a permit can be removed by the town.

As trees and shrubs on private property mature, the property owner must make sure they do not project into the right-of-way and that clear sight lines remain so cars can safely enter and exit. Should a collision result, the property owner may be legally responsible.

If the plant material is on private property, any unsafe conditions will be brought to the attention of the property owner. If the problem is not corrected, the town will trim or remove for public safety.

But beyond the law, maintaining proper sight lines is a part of being a good neighbor. Don’t put your neighbors in harm’s way. Check the sight lines along your property and, if necessary, trim your trees and shrubs.
Michael Gray, town engineer
Steve Saracino, tree warden

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