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Deteriorating Road Median Has Queens Residents Miffed

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A deteriorating median running down the middle of one of the busiest streets in Queens is in need of recovery, and residents say they're getting concerned.

Community Activist Louis LaPolla says the four and a half mile stretch of Union Turnpike, with lifeless trees and crumbling curbs, has been that way for nearly six years.

"They planted about, I'd say, 80 trees on Union Turnpike between Marathon Parkway and Main Street," he said. "Almost all of them died immediately."

He calls it an eyesore, and has been fighting with the city's Park's Department to get them removed.

"Why have a dead tree just laying there? I mean, why not cut it down? It's not coming back," he told CBS2.

His neighbors seem to agree.

"It's really just sad to look at," Queens resident Olive Kielczewski said.

CBS2 requested an on-camera interview with the parks department, but it would only say that since it's not a safety issue it's at the bottom of the priority list.

"Parks Department really has to get its act together," State Senator Tony Avella (D-11th) said, adding the city doesn't do enough when it comes to tree maintenance.

He's calling for a fix on the median right away.

"The city waits until it falls over and injures someone or damages property until they do something," Avella said.

LaPolla says that's the last thing he wants, and he's getting tired of the waiting game.

The Parks Department says it can't provide an immediate time frame for the removal or potential replacement of the trees.

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