CUYAHOGA FALLS — Following several instances of trees falling onto the road — including one that caused the death of a 60-year-old man — the city and Summit Metro Parks have taken steps to remove about 30 trees from the east side of Front Street near Gorge Metro Park.
Kelli Crawford-Smith, director of the city’s Neighborhood Excellence, Communications and Community Outreach Department, said Pro Tree spent the day Aug. 30 cutting down the trees from both the city’s right of way and from park property.
"Additionally, other vegetation and shrubbery were cleaned out as well as limbs and additional trees that were laying on the embankment," Crawford-Smith said. "There were five chip trucks and two log trucks used to clear the area."
Crawford-Smith previously told the Falls News-Press the trees slated for removal were "leaning and have been determined to be a safety hazard," and added the city arborist recommended taking them down. She noted removal also was done for "general cleanup of the area."
She said the cost of removing the trees, vegetation and shrubbery will be split between the city and the metro parks, with the city paying "roughly $3,800."
Crawford-Smith said more trees eventually will be removed from the area, but there are no immediate plans on when that will happen.
There are at least three known instances when trees fell on Front Street near Gorge Metro Park this year.
On July 6, a 60-year-old man died after a tree fell on his vehicle while he was driving on Front Street near Gorge Metro Park, according to the county medical examiner’s office. At that time, Cuyahoga Falls police said it was believed recent storms and high winds were a factor in the tree falling.
City Councilmember Mary Ellen Pyke (R-2) said she notified the city when a tree fell across the road in the spring and vehicles driving both northbound and southbound collided with it. She added she called the city in mid-August when she saw that another tree had fallen and knocked down power lines.
Pyke drives along this stretch of Front Street every day and told the Falls News-Press she is concerned about driving on the road whenever it rains. She added she was "glad to see the city is taking some action."
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.