New Jersey town cuts down trees in town center rather than let homeless people use them for shade

This is one of those stories that, at first, I didn’t believe.

It’s just so incredibly stupid.

The [Lakewood, NJ] township cut down all of the shade trees that once lined Town Square in a controversial move designed to prevent homeless people from spending time there.

Mayor Ray Coles said the decision was made after a recommendation from the Police Department Quality of Life Unit, which the township said was triggered by numerous complaints from residents and township employees about homeless people defecating and urinating in the area.

“They (homeless people) were harassing people, defecating between the cars and residents were complaining,” Coles said.

All shade trees at Lakewood Town Square were cut down last Aug. 8.

Claudia Romero, who works in a tax preparation company across from the Town Square, said that one day she found human feces on the sidewalk in front of her office and then submitted a complaint to the township. The township did not say how many complaints it received.

The move, advocates say, was unnecessary and does nothing to help those in need.

First of all, we’re trying to plant more trees in the world, not tear them out.

Secondly, I am absolutely certain that, for the cost of removing those trees (plus the dollar values and incalculable aesthetic values of the trees) they could have gotten a porta-potty if public urination/feces really is the primary motivator behind this. (I’ll bet it’s not. I’ll bet it’s just some Karens who don’t like homeless people.)

Finally, why are you ruining the enjoyment of everyone of your town square because town leaders are too stupid/ignorant/stubborn to look for other solutions?

Rest of article here.

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