Road Salt problem - suggestions needed....

I'd like to get a few thoughts and suggestions on a situation....
I live in a planned community... many of the side streets end in cul-de-sacs.
We have a circle in the center of our cul-de-sac... the circle is about 30' diameter surrounded by about 8 houses... I believe the circle is maintained by the county, however they do not beautify the circle and just let it sit to be overrun with garbage and weeds. So the neighborhood got together and landscaped the circle, providing shrubs, flowers, mulch, and lots of back breaking labor... resulting in a nicely landscaped location..
So I walked out to the circle a few days ago, and found it literally covered in road salt. There was a ice covering a few days back, which is why I'm assuming the salt trucks came... however they literally covered the circle in road salt. Very suspicious were two recently planted shtrubs that had mounds of road salt around them, (like you would put mulch). However none of the houses around the cul-de-sac had even a tiny particle of salt by the curb, driveways or front lawns... and they are only 20 feet away from the circle.
Anyway, the shrubs are all dying... hundreds of dollars of plant material and many dozens of hours gone.
My question.... I'm at a loss as to how to start..... where to complain, who should be responsible for repairing the damage... or can the damage even be repaired as the salt has already started saturating the ground.
I suspect this has been on-going for years as many plants have never bloomed or have died after planting, including marigolds, daffodils, hostas, sedum, germaniums and chrysanthemums.... all of whom thrive successful in the surrounding landscapes but not in the circle.. It just never was so obvious before now with a thick coating of salt on the ground and mounds of salt piled around the shrubs, most are at least 4 feet from the street curb.
Is the dept of highways deliberating doing this to kill plant growth on their weed patches which used to be thickly covered with thistles and dandelions during the summer, until the community decided enough was enough and landscaped the eyesore.
Is it some idiot worker who decides that salting a street after a light snow is so important that it justifies destroying landscapes, trees and shrubs. (we have plenty of idiots here if anyone needs a couple).
This is zone7 Maryland, between Washington and Baltimore
Your suggestions are appreciated .... many thanks in advance...
Peter
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mike snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA






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Sounds like a local community problem caused by whatever asset is salting the roads, which may be in fact a private contractor hired by that asset. You didn't mention Home owners association... If I were a lawyer offering advice, which I'm not, I'd want to hear more specifics. And, you could pre-empt some obvious facts needed by doing some research yourself. Along the way, you just might find a potential long-term solution.
Or, you and your neighbors can watch the symbol of neighborhood cooperation be steamrolled by shared ignorance, governmental bureaucrats, and you and your neighbors own lack of fortitude. Consider yourself spanked.
If you're actually here for emmotional support, nevermind.
--
Dave



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On Sun, 08 Feb 2009 17:02:14 -0500, mike snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Plant back from the street, maybe 4 or 5 feet. I found most grasses can take the salt better than some plants. The salt truck threw grape-size salt chunks all over last week. You could sue the city for damages, but keep in mind that they have the job of keeping the streets as safe as reasonable possible if streets are icy. The only thing that might help the plants is flushing with fresh water.
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On Sun, 08 Feb 2009 17:02:14 -0500, mike snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
The saga does have a happy ending after all. Here's the deal.
My first call was to the local HOA organization, asking them for advice. As expected they said "send an email" and we'll forward to the 'appropriate departments". I sent one, but didn't expect any response, as this is a "send it' we'll send it along to someone else, and eventually it will wind up in the round basket.. but we've done our job.
So, I searched a little on the internet... road salt is toxic.... found out the DPW Bureau of Highways is the county agency who salts the roads. Visited their site... found a link to "Claim Management Dept". So called for additional information
They were exceedingly courteous in taking the information and promised a supervisor would call."
At 7:00 am the following morning, a road crew was busy cleaning up the salt we had scraped off over the weekend.
Two hours later a supervisor was onsite, surveying the damage. He called in a workcrew who removed the remaining salt, shoveled up the top layer of contaminated dirt and replaced it with fresh soil.
Part of the problem... this is a cul-de-sac with the circle in the center. A neighbor parks his spare car on the curb 24/7 for months at a time. To avoid this car, the salt truck was forced to move closer to the circle, and because the salt is sprayed from the left side of the truck, it covered the circle, while leaving the street untouched.
So it had a good ending... the county responded, the plants were saved and damage removed.
Followed up with an 'atta boy' to the division chief, praising the efficiency of his department personnel.
End of story.....

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End of story..... not!
If the neighbor's car is permitted to continue parking there you will have the same problem next time the salt truck comes by.
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Didn't want to start a flame war on this ng, so left that out of the equation.
You are correct it will happen again unless there's a workable solution.
Normally the car is not a problem... it's parked on the side of the cul-de-sac, passenger side wheels up on the sidewalk, obstructing pedestrian traffic. The guy rents the house and has two cars filling the drive. So this is his spare car, seldom uses it and it stays parked for months at a time. The only time it becomes a problem is when the street cleaners don't clean the street because it blocks the way, or the snow plows, salters and sanders do a half a?? job because they are forced to move around this turkey.
Years ago it used to be that you could bring this to your neighbors attention, and usually get some cooperation. Nowadays, many people are so used to 'having it their way', it just createds problems in the neighborhood.... been there, done that, it's happened more than once... I get the idea.
I've got a call into the local PD for advice... if nothing can be done, I'll boost it up to a friend on the county council. The guy from the DPW said "you're lucky we plow your street at all, because the trucks have a problem getting through" He's right, the car does impede utility work, and the owner should be notified.
I'm just not willing to start a neighborhood feud. Pity... we're talking about a non-issue here... and there's such a problem getting it resolved wait till something truly disasterous comes along.
Peter

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On Wed, 18 Feb 2009 14:00:19 GMT, "brooklyn1"

How true. We had a neighbor that decided to park his car for seven years. It was hit one time, vandalized, and had two flat tires. After it was finally towed away, the street had marks on it from the traffic and street sweeper. The owner of the car was the deputy sheriff.
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wrote:

I used to work on Sheepshead Bay Rd. But I lived in Gravesend.
Enjoy: http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/index.htm
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wrote:

I had an after school job at Barton's Bonbonairre on Sheepshead Bay Rd. I knew all of NYC well, as a young child I'd ride a bicycle all over the entire city, back then it was perfectly safe. Now when I go back I don't know NYC anymore, it's not the same in any regard, it's more a war zone... I just drive through, I wouldn't dare get out of my car and walk those streets as I once did with never a care.
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The local mower boys who have the contract with your HOA have been having a very bad year. The tiny amount of snow / ice we have had this season brought all these landscrapers out of hibernation for some much needed quick cash, and they happily slung salt with reckless abandon to be sure everyone knows they were out there doing their job.
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