Environmentalist: Cutting Trees Along Parkway Bad For State [AUDIO]
The recent news that four additional acres of trees are being removed as part of the parkway project is drawing criticism from an environmental group.
Doug O'Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey, said removing the trees would have lasting impacts on the state.
State policy requires larger development projects to replant trees they cut down, however, O'Malley noted that it's not fair trees become "collateral damage,"
"The trees that they're removing have been around for a long time and you don't want to mess with trees that have been there for a while," he cautioned.
Though the project would not add any additional lanes, it does expand the shoulders of the road-adding more blacktop. O'Malley said the solution won't ultimately help traffic, but will remove a lot of air filtering trees by the road, worsening the state's smog problem.
"Every county in the state either got a D or F, according to the American Lung Association. Smog is something that affects over half a million New Jersey residents who suffer from asthma, including Governor Christie."
He also pointed out the aesthetic ramifications of more pavement and less trees along the parkway, worrying that it would create a closer look and feel of the more industrialized New Jersey Turnpike.
"We like the parkway because it's a little more scenic, let's keep it that way. Let's not destroy our environment and our scenic vistas," O'Malley said.