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Trees Dying As City, State & Neighbors Disagree

buckner terrace 1 Trees Dying As City, State & Neighbors Disagree

The irrigation system along Samuell Boulevard, from Interstate-30 to the city limits, that isn’t being maintained. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – One North Texas homeowner’s association leader is fighting to preserve the upkeep in her neighborhood. There are dozens of trees along a well known Dallas boulevard that have died and residents say it’s because of city neglect.

Carolyn Johnson doesn’t sit on the sidelines. The east Dallas resident lives in the Buckner Terrace community and is among those unhappy with a taxpayer supported renovation of Samuell Boulevard.

“You have holes in the asphalt, where they didn’t fill it back in,” she said.

The irrigation system on the public street is broken, leaving wasted water streaming down the street.

As for the trees added to beautify the boulevard, they have few leaves, are brown and drooping –basically dying. Dozens of the 600-plus crape myrtles that were planted are dead and Johnson says no one wants to take responsibility.

Johnson said she anticipated having beautiful landscaping, with colorful crape myrtle trees. “I wanted a nice gateway into our neighborhood… and we don’t have that.”

The Samuell Boulevard expansion was a $21 million project.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) widened the road and according to Dallas officials, as of June, upkeep of the boulevard belonged to the city. Apparently that “upkeep” doesn’t include the watering of trees.

Dallas city councilman Dwaine Caraway, who represents part of the Buckner Terrace area, said someone dropped the ball.

“TxDOT has to step up to the plate and make sure we both, the city and TxDOT, protect the neighborhood,” he said.

There are some 2,300 homeowners in the Buckner Terrace area, many of them supporting and wanting the entryway into their community. Now many of them are asking, “what happened?”

TxDOT hasn’t maintained the dead trees along Samuell Boulevard since May, and Johnson says the City of Dallas should be doing it anyway since ‘her’ boulevard is a Dallas boulevard.

CBS 11 News sent an email to the City of Dallas Assistant Director of Public Works, Alan D. Hendrix, asking why the city wasn’t maintaining the median. He sent a response that said, in part, “The original intent for the landscaping on this project was to get the crepe myrtles established in the 2 years of maintenance provided by the contractor. The irrigation system was designed and constructed as a temporary system and was to be turned off unless some group or business decided to adopt the medians.”

City officials said they don’t “typically” water medians and the extent of their maintenance responsibility is to keep the grass cut during mowing season.

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