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I wish to bring your attention to the clear cutting of vegetation along the CP/CN rail line in Saskatoon along 33rd Street from Second Avenue North to Spadina Crescent, which occurred in April of this year.
There was a substantial growth of trees along the north and south sides of the tracks which buffered the rail line from the City Park residential neighbourhood on the south and the North Park residential neighbourhood to the north.
The clear cutting of these trees left both neighbourhoods completely exposed to the noise, light and sight of the freight trains moving through this residential area. Clear cutting may also facilitate erosion on such a steep embankment.
This work was done without any public consultation or consideration of the consequential impact on the neighbourhoods. If the rail company cared at all about the impact of the landscaping along the tracks, it would have instead cleaned up the garbage that has accumulated on its property for many years and done a property inspection annually with followup maintenance.
The brutal approach taken by the rail company leaves much to be desired and is an abdication of its corporate public responsibility.
I hope that this type of insensitive approach to property management is not the norm and that a more considerate maintenance regime will be considered in the future, perhaps actually including landscape plans along your tracks in the city.
Deliberate planting of boulevard type trees along the edge of the railway right-of-way would be a better alternative to the clear cutting of volunteer “scrub” trees.
John J. Penner
This article first appeared on theprovince.com
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