DDoT-Urban Forestry Administrator Doesn’t Care About Our Gingko Hell

I typically have 40 to 60 such open items with DDoT. Many of these tasks stay open for years. The Director of DDoT has testified at his oversight hearing that he told his staff to not spend time on citizens questions because it gets in the way of them accomplishing things. Here’s a typical devolving encounter:

<< I was giving you the benefit of the doubt by starting out believing that you were going to follow up. This experience has turned out the same as most DDoT experiences: I ask why DDoT didn’t properly do what they are tasked to do; DDoT pretended they were checking on it; I squawk and squawk and it still falls between the cracks. With this incident as well documented as it is, I’ll have reporters chasing you around in September. They’ll do the cutaway shot from the stinky piles of ginkgo berries on the street to you explaining why they weren’t sprayed properly.

Rob Halligan

—–Original Message—–

From: Rob Halligan (ANC 2B01) Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 12:39 PM  To: ‘Caldwell, Ainsley (DDOT)’  Cc: Dan Tangherlini; DupontForum@yahoogroups.com; ‘Babra, Ranjit (DDOT)’ Subject: RE: Gingko spraying,…

Ainsley Caldwell,

The immature gingko berries have still not fallen as a result of any spraying you are responsible for successfully completing. Mr. Little has still not contacted me. You’ve seen the pictures of how bad the berries are when you do the spraying as done in previous years.We don’t want inches of stink berries on our streets.

We’ve been exchanging notes on this for 6 weeks. Way too many issues with DDoT become matters of attrition. DDoT says they will do something and the customers eventually lose interest in chasing the problem down after months of looking for a simple answer. That’s a customer service problem. I don’t know why we customers tolerate this.

Rob Halligan

—–Original Message—–

From: Rob Halligan (ANC 2B01) Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 9:24 AM  To: ‘Caldwell, Ainsley (DDOT)’  Cc: ‘Babra, Ranjit (DDOT)’; ‘Judy Werdel’  Subject: RE: Gingko spraying, Empty boxes, Olive Restaurant

I still haven’t heard from Mr. Little.

Rob Halligan

—–Original Message—–

From: Caldwell, Ainsley (DDOT) Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 11:52 AM  To: ‘Rob Halligan (ANC 2B01)’  Cc: Babra, Ranjit (DDOT); Judy Werdel  Subject: RE: Gingko spraying, Empty boxes, Olive Restaurant

Mr. Halligan,

Mr. Littles (a member of our staff) who is responsible for spraying the gingkos will reinspect trees at this location and will give you a call today to discuss your concerns.

—–Original Message—–

From: Rob Halligan (ANC 2B01) Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 4:05 PM  To: ‘Caldwell, Ainsley (DDOT)’  Cc: Ranjit Singh Babra; Judy Werdel Subject: RE: Gingko spraying, Empty boxes, Olive Restaurant

It’s been 14 days and only a few premature berries have fallen out of each female – wind would likely have knocked more down than that. Even in the years when the spraying didn’t work effectively, the sidewalk was carpeted with premature berries.

Please advise.

Rob Halligan

—–Original Message—–

From: Caldwell, Ainsley (DDOT) [mailto:ainsley.caldwell@dc.gov]  Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 12:04 PM  To: ‘Rob Halligan (ANC 2B01)’  Subject: RE: Gingko spraying, Empty boxes, Olive Restaurant

Mr. Halligan,

The chemical takes effect within as little as 10 days after spraying and as much as 14.

—–Original Message—–

From: Rob Halligan (ANC 2B01) Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 7:29 AM  To: ‘Babra, Ranjit (DDOT)’  Cc: ‘Caldwell, Ainsley (DDOT)’; Judy Werdel  Subject: RE: Gingko spraying, Empty boxes, Olive Restaurant

Ainsley Caldwell :

None of the immature berries fell after the spraying. It seems to have not worked at all this year. Please contact me ASAP.

Rob Halligan

—–Original Message—–

From: Babra, Ranjit (DDOT) Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 10:16 AM  To: Rob Halligan (ANC 2B01) Cc: Caldwell, Ainsley (DDOT)  Subject: Gingko spraying, Empty boxes, Olive Restaurant

Mr. Halligan,

Thank you for your e-mails.

*UFA’s director, copied on this e-mail, is Ainsley Caldwell. He has ultimate oversight of the gingko spraying.Your e-mail regarding these concerns has been forwarded to him. UFA will mitigate fruit growth.

*The list of viable empty boxes will be planted in the 2005/2006 season commencing in October.

*UFA’s mandate entails street trees between the street and sidewalk and the occasional alley tree.Streetscape design is not a facet of our operations.

*The list of dead trees you provided have either been marked for removal or will be inspected shortly.

Please advise me of additional concerns you might have.

Thank you,

Ranjit Babra  UFA  Wards 1 & 2  202.671.5113  >>

One Reply to “DDoT-Urban Forestry Administrator Doesn’t Care About Our Gingko Hell”

  1. I called 311 NYC because of the UNBEARABLE STENCH of the berry tree on the corner of Pierrepont and Hicks st in Brooklyn Heights. I can only hope and pray the city will act quickly. It seems a trivial matter except when you cannot open a window, or let your child out to play; for the stink is truly horrific.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *