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Vellucci Threatens to Cut up Trees, Give Remains to Foes of Underpass

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

City Councillor Alfred E. Vellucci wants the Metropolitan District Commission to cut down twelve of the sycamore trees that line Memorial Drive, chop them up, and present the pieces as "fitting mementos" to people opposing the Memorial Drive underpasses.

The sycamore trees have become symbolic to groups fighting the underpasses. By the MDC's latest estimate, 42 of the of the trees would be destroyed to make room for approaches to the underpasses, which will be built at Boylston St., River St., and Western Ave.

Vellucci introduced a motion proposing the destruction of the 12 sycamores at a City Council meeting several weeks ago. The motion, however, has not yet come to a vote.

At yesterdays council meeting, the motion was referred to the Committee of Public Safety and Service, after the council refused Vellucci's request to keep it on the table for another week. Vellucci is the chairman of the Committee of Public Safety and Service.

Vellucci hopes that his threat against the sycamores will help him get maple trees planted along Cambridge St. from Inman Square to Lechmere Square. The city has promised to plant the trees, but Vellucci apparently feels that, without any outside pressure, nothing will be done before next spring.

"If this motion gives them [the underpass opponents] the jitters," he said at yesterday's meeting, "they might help me get trees on Cambridge Street."

In his original motion, Vellucci staunchly supported proposed underpasses and congratulated the MDC "for its insistence on doing the proper thing in order to facilitate the flow of traffic."

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