Boston City Council wants more trees, ban on booze ads on the T

The City Council today approved an effort by at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley to begin looking at how to increase the number of trees in Boston - especially with developers increasingly tearing down mature trees as they plant their towers and complexes.

The council also approved a resolution by at-large Councilor Annissa Essaibi George to ask the MBTA to ban all alcohol advertising in its stations, trains and buses.

Essaibi George said that would prove an effective way to reducing the attractiveness of booze to young people, and called on the T to offer "advertising of a healthier lifestyle" in its place. The resolution is not binding on the T.

Pressley said trees are "critical to the ecological and overall health of our community" and have been shown to reduce everything from asthma to anxiety and even crime. She said she would start with a survey to determine just how many trees Boston has and what sort of canopy they now provide.

Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) backed the proposal. He pointed to the tlarge numbers of trees he said have died from leaks from underground natural-gas mains and said the tiny young trees that some developers replace larger, more mature trees take decades to full grow.

He concluded by paraphrasing Joyce Kilmer - for whom a school in his district is named: "Legislation is made by fools like we, but only God can make a tree."

At-large Councilor Michael Flaherty also supported Pressley. "I'm not a tree hugger by any stretch of the imagination," he said, then added that he thinks for every tree a developer tears down, it should put up two new ones.

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Comments

The T needs money, let's cut off their funding

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Alcohol is a very legal product that most people can enjoy safely and enjoyably. The MBTA needs every dollar they can get and, in alcohol manufacturers, they have found a group willing to help fund the T by buying their ad space. The city council needs to get down off their high sober horse and let the T run the T.

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I see blank ad space on trains and busses

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all the time. If advertisers were lining up to buy space on T properties we would see way more wrapped trains, billboards outside stations, ads playing on the charlie card machines when not in use, etc etc.
But we don't see those things. They will probably ignore this request to keep some money coming in.
In my opinion the T leaves a lot of money on the table in both ad/marketing revenue and in renting vendor space at/in their facilities. It is either unattractive to prospective customers or they are not reaching out to try and bring those customers in. There aught to be a hot dog cart at every train station, paying rent to the T. Plus: hot dogs!

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I seriously doubt the MBTA

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I seriously doubt the MBTA has a great outreach program to potential vendors/advertisers.

Also I like the hot dog cart in theory, but then I don't think I could eat a hot dog that was handed to me in a T station... I'd imagine it to be covered in germs and black dust!

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Years ago my small company was looking for ad space

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and the conversation went

"We have paid for T ads at (3-5 stations nearest our locations.) They're surprisingly affordable and the T leaves them up for months longer than the original contract, so we get extra free advertising."

At the station closest to my office, our January ad campaign was up until April.

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The T has explicitly said in

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The T has explicitly said in the past that they don't like having food vendors in stations because of the mess it inevitably creates. And I don't blame them. Do you really think everyone is going to throw away the packaging for their hot dogs, or are most just going to throw them on the ground?

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I throw trash...

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...in the trash can, of which there are plenty in T stations. Seriously? What's special about food wrappers as opposed to any other kind of trash?

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- Food wrappers contain bits

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- Food wrappers contain bits of food, which attracts mice and rats.
- Most commuter trash is food wrappers. What else would people be throwing away on the T? Hardly anyone reads paper newspapers any more.

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Generated in the stations

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There is a difference between things being handed to people in stations and things people carry into the stations.

Having food vendors means that people buy stuff in the station and do their lazy masshole thing with it on the platform.

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Indeed.

And seems likely the booze will help with any indigestion that causes ...

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Forget the developers

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Forget the developers, this issue is mostly the City's fault. They plant some seedlings here and there and then let them die. The forestry division is underfunded. It routinely takes them 5 years to fulfill a street tree request. Trees never get pruned. Moraine St in JP looks AMAZING, one of the few, but a lack of maintenance has led the trees to become sidewalk-blocking bushes. https://goo.gl/maps/uvEUVwFgd8G2

It's a shame that a residential street can be this bare: https://goo.gl/maps/yPA1j36J8hH2

(Trees also slow speeds by visually narrowing the roadway- let's get to planting ASAP)

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I actually got a new tree

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I actually got a new tree within a year of requesting it and also got a sapling that had been planted two summers ago and died because of the drought replaced with a new one.

Seems to be hit or miss when the forestry division has the time, money, and saplings to bring them out to the areas

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What it takes to have a successful tree program

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I hate to use the phrase "private-public partnership", but city trees on private property is one case where it works. Trees are living things that require care, particularly when they're young. Best to educate the property owner about how to care for their new tree, and let the forestry department check on it once in a while.

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Amen

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Amen

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A tree grows in the right of way

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Those 1,000 trees are mostly INVASIVE species (weed trees known as Alanthus which are HARMFUL) and would be cut sooner or later because ... THEY ARE IN THE RIGHT OF WAY.

Go away idiot troll. Your latest stupidity is epic stupid.

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Is it really stupid?

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I mean, you could read this as someone who has gone off the deep end grasping at straws to claim that a popular transit project is horrible. OR you could see that has a plea for the City of Somerville to push MassDOT to plant more trees, better trees in fact, to replace these ones. That's what they are doing to replace the clearcutting at Forest Hills (around the immediate station, as opposed to the nearby green spaces that spawned the name.) The project will have twice the number of trees as those chopped down when all is said and done.

I've decided that this anon in fact is a big supporter of the GLX, but is pushing for more trees to be planted as part of the project. After all, they are now back within budget.

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Not true about ROW Trees

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The trees between my home and the rail line are non-inv. Most are non-inv across the area. Ironically. Several local street trees are inv. I'm for the GLX. But the tree removal irony is notable

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Very little. In fact. Emissions may go up post-GLX

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The numbers have always been flimsy for the Green Line Extension. The economic development numbers have always been in the red. The ridership numbers have always been poor. The subsidy per passenger rate is through the roof. If MassDOT takes down at least 200 large trees, the environmental benefits will be nullified. The harsh truth. the GLX is a political gift. plain and simple. Governor Baker himself called the GLX "Big Dig 2.0". Campaign cash changed all of that. The silver lining. Boston has incredible leaders like Wu and Pressley who are filling the void while MassDOT is out-to-lunch.

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Uncited numbers again, I see

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However, you are wrong. If GLX gets just half of the projected ridership, the greenhouse emissions will decrease so dramatically that the entire US will meet it’s now abandoned goals under the Paris Accords.

See how that works.

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Cited numbers regarding GLX eco dev & ridership

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Every feasibility study since the 90s.

In regards to the trees. Its vague. Yet cutting down trees seems counterintuitive to the argument for the GLX

But the thing I love the most. You slam having un-cited numbers, and then you provide un-cited numbers.

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Wow

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How long did it take for you to realize that I pulled my stats from a very similar place to where you got your stats? I just figured that if we were just making things up, why not go big.

How many trees again?

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Halo polishing

Essaibi George said that would prove an effective way to reducing the attractiveness of booze to young people, and called on the T to offer "advertising of a healthier lifestyle" in its place.

Does she really believe that having ads on the T for kombucha rather than beer will have an impact on what "kids" do on Saturday night? Seriously?

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Because corporations

Are run by old people who come from the generation when advertising worked more effectively, and when people actually bought stuff.

People my age don't buy stuff, they eat out and travel.

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They do

But I would guess they get what their older brother/classmate tells them to, not what some agency-crafted message suggested.

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People your age overpay for

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People your age overpay for trends... like Supreme or Off-white. Canadian Goose seems to be preferred by "travellers".

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"People your age" buy plenty of stuff

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Unless you're somehow under the delusion that someone else is paying for your dining out and your travel, you buy plenty of stuff. Hint: durable goods, consumables, services, it's all "stuff".

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Yeah

But I use that stuff. I get something of utility for what I spend.

My mom (whom I adore) spent thousands of dollars redoing her bathroom, which already had working fixtures. She can't afford a hearing aid now in her 60s, but boy howdy, the room she uses for nothing more than taking a dump and showering is prettier.

That's how her generation spends money. I learned my lesson from that.

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He would have

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But he got stuck on a train that was wall to wall with Drizzly ads, so he got inspired to drink a lot.

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trees

I'm all for trees on the T, they would provide much needed shade and would be good for the ecology of the T.

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Where my mind is

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I first read this as trees as in pot, not real trees. So I read this as BCC wanted pot advertisements on the T in place of the alcohol.

It's been a long day.. is it 420 yet?

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Trees

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Developers and contractors who pull building permits shall be required to pay for the planting of six mature trees within 300 feet of the development, a dozen if they are granted development with less than the required amount of parking spaces.
300 feet is based on the diameter of the neighbors they are required to notify for community meetings.
They want to keep developing without any green or open space? Fine. Plant trees for the rest of the neighbors.

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Wat

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Why are they required to plant more trees if they do less damage to the environment? This is literally the opposite of the consistent position

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This makes no sense

You are assuming any development will be within 300' of a open space suitable for planting a large tree? Inane and goofy proposal. Or are we going to promote leaving lots undeveloped so we can have spaces to plant more trees.

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While I applaud Pressley's enthusiasm

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The reality is that younger trees are better for our lungs and the environment than older trees. Sure, they don't do a good job providing shade, but all in due time. Depending on the tree planted, in 10 years you could have a decent tree in the ground.

Two Flats wins on this one. Replacing one tree with two trees is the way to go. It's also a practical solution that could be written into code (zoning or general city code.)

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When I was on the Chelsea

When I was on the Chelsea City Council I used this study (most of the story is about Chelsea right to the North of Boston but showcases a very Boston issue) to convince my colleagues and the City Manager to finally implement a new zoning ordinance designed to funnel money into creating more green and open space.

Currently in 99 percent of cities and towns if you build on a lot where zoning prescribes X amount of open space but the lot or density does not allow for that the only two options are to reject the building or to accept it but give relief for the open space requirement. The issue with that in a city setting is often times you want those one level storefronts in downtown to be two, three or even more levels instead. The footprint already exists, you can't squeeze in any more open or green space. If it is a huge project maybe you can get them to promise a park down the street but most new projects in these dense areas are infill or not mega projects...

So this new zoning language allows for relief to be given for open space BUT it comes at a cost. You pay into the open and green space fund to be given the relief. The hope is to then use that money to acquire or maintain park-lets or other green zones, convert green roofs , anything that would add to open space in an area. Currently most cities and towns either change their zoning OR just hand the relief over for free right now. My position against changing the zoning to require less green space was the areas we need MORE greenspace and open space are the areas where more relief is needed. Some people called it a tax but I don't see it that way, I see it as holding up a standard and giving the city the tools it needs to do that. That kid living in that new apartment downtown deserves green stuff just as much as the kid down the street but under the old plans there was no way to try to even that out.

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We Need Action

We don't need any more surveys or studies of our tree canopy - we need action.

We have the Urban Tree Canopy Cover map (2005, and re-released by the City December 2014). We have the Climate Action Plan. We have the Greenovate Boston 2014 update. We have the Climate Ready Boston executive summary.

What progress has been made for action item 4.11 "Create a tree canopy plan: Create a clear, actionable tree canopy plan to increase tree canopy coverage 35 percent by 2030" in Greenovate Boston's report? What has been done related to the heat island effects identified by Climate Ready Boston?

Is Pressley's survey the first step in coming up with the Greenovate tree canopy plan? Is this to update the 2005 map? Is this another disjointed effort that won't get anywhere beyond the assessment phase?

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It's very hypocrital of them

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It's very hypocrital of them to bash the T for alcohol advertising when this body (or its members) has advocated so much for more liquor licenses. I hope the legislature confronts the city over it the next time they petition for home rule. But, thumbs up to councilman O'Malley for bringing up the topic of trees killed by gas leaks. That wan't something I was aware of.

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Instead of banning booze ads

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Instead of banning booze ads on the T why don't they instead have a ban on obnoxious people who can't handle their booze? Any fellow riders sick of being harrassed by drunken idiots? Why do they always insist of sitting near you and start bellowing incoherent bullshit in your face as the booze reeks out of their pores?

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Oh please Anissa

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" The resolution is not binding on the T." Don't you have to go hold the Mayors umbrella somewhere ?

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I support more trees

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But if the city isn't going to take care of the ones it does plant, it's a waste to put more in the ground. Whole blocks of saplings die because nobody waters them. This can't be that hard; I'm guessing it's a lack of manpower in the parks department?

Also lolling @ kids only drinking because bus adds make it look omg so cool.

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