I feel like the Lorax here but I thought the language of HB 501 being voted on tomorrow in our state legislature was interesting enough to share...
To amend Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 32 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions regarding the maintenance of public roads, so as to require the Department of Transportation to remove all trees in the public right of way that are capable of falling on an interstate or limited-access highway; to provide for the department to designate the removal of trees by a third party after a competitive bidding process; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
I could not find anything that told me whether this was:
- Cost Effective? - How much would cutting every tree that meets this definition cost? How many are there? How long would this take?
- Necessary? - How many crashes, injuries, deaths per year are caused by a tree falling on a road? I'm sure there are some and don't want to sound insensitive to those people who have lost loved ones to an unfortunate accident of this nature but I'm just not convinced that there isn't lower hanging fruit out there.
- A Legitimate Safety Concern? - It sounds to me like a way around the Supreme Court case regarding trees covering billboard views. The last sentence in the bill "All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed." made me think that might be the case.
You can send an email to your legislature through this link if you are opposed to a wholesale cutting of all trees meeting this definition. Here's the link.
Update: This bill died in committee on 3/8. Lorax 1 - Georgia House 0