Greenwich Tree Conservancy: Why Isn’t CT DOT Following the FHWA Guidance on Mitigating Environmental Impacts?

Submitted by Peter L. Malkin, Chairman; Cheryl Dunson, President and JoAnn Messina, Executive Director Greenwich Tree Conservancy

In the Open Letter to Governor Lamont (OPEN LETTER TO NED LAMONT: from Neighborhood Citizens Against I-95 Noise, July 13, 2021) penned by Greg Piccininno, President, Neighborhood Citizens Against I-95 Noise, he seeks to alert residents about CT DOT Project 56-316 which will impact Greenwich from Exits 2 through 6 and urges the Governor to direct CTDOT to provide noise remediation.

CT DOT’s favored management strategy of clear-cutting roadside trees and vegetation is having a significant impact on communities statewide. Connecticut transportation corridors, which include 964 miles of state roads and 629 miles of passenger and freight rails, produce 38% of CT’s greenhouse gases. Mass removal of vegetation along the thousands of acres of CT state rights of way is inconsistent with the work being undertaken by Governor Lamont’s Council on Climate Change, which recognizes the need to protect and enhance urban forests for climate adaptation, resilience and for the benefit of public health.

Noise impacts our health and our real estate values. recently added a noise level feature defining traffic noise, airport noise, and local noise. High noise ratings can reduce property values. There are methods of noise abatement combining hardscape and greenscape solutions and we need a multilayered approach in Connecticut to increase healthy roadside environments for the benefit of all residents. Greenwich is the Gateway to Connecticut and CTDOT has an opportunity to mitigate the damage that has been done and do no further harm.

The Federal Highway Administration Revegetation manual notes: “As roads are modified or updated section by section, a tremendous opportunity presents itself to remedy the oversights of the past, mitigating environmental impacts and improving conditions for healthy ecosystems.”

Why isn’t CTDOT following the FHWA guidance? It is time for CTDOT along with Town and
local nongovernmental organizations to work together and develop a remediation plan along our
transportation corridors.

Peter L. Malkin, Chairman
Cheryl Dunson, President
JoAnn Messina, Executive Director
Greenwich Tree Conservancy
[email protected]

See also:

OPEN LETTER TO NED LAMONT: from Neighborhood Citizens Against I-95 Noise