February 07, 2004

Can't See the Perverts for the Trees?

City crews have been cutting down many trees and clearing out a lot of bush in our neighbourhood. They're doing this on the advice of the police, who think that widening pathways and opening up lines of view will protect people from perverts, rapists, and muggers.

While I can understand that argument, I prefer the approach of better enforcement, harsher sentencing, and much tougher parole standards to keep the nasties off the streets and out of our parks.

I'm biased -- I'm a streamkeeper -- and I hate to see trees and bushes that provide habitat and shelter being cut down.

Our streamkeeping group was out introducing new members to the creek one day, and stopped on a path that leads to a commuter train station. Our guide pointed out an area in which trees had been cut down adjacent to the creek so as not to interfere with electrical transmission cables overhead, opening up fish habitat to potentially damaging direct sunlight.

A woman passing by stopped and said, "Oh, are you talking about that forest? I think the whole thing should be cleared out. It's dangerous!"

We tried to point out that there were fish in the creek, birds nesting in the trees.... It went right past her.

What happened to common sense and personal responsibility? There is no way to ever insure 100% safety. Don't use the path through the forest after dark -- there are well-lit, busy streets you can take.

If we followed the "being able to see everything" logic, where would we stop? Perhaps we should remove mailboxes to eliminate those hiding places. How about prohibiting street parking? Gee, there could be someone lurking behind or between all those houses and buildings on my street. Perhaps we should raze those as well....

Posted by Paul at February 7, 2004 07:45 PM