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Raleigh Crew Goes Out on a Limb to Keep Traffic Signs Clear for Motorists

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RALEIGH — Just about everyone loves the trees that make Raleigh the City of Oaks. But what happens if branches from one of the big trees block your view when you are driving?

The city has four, two-man crews -- called the visual obstruction removal crew -- to cut back trees and bushes so drivers can see.

"What we try to do is leave it in better shape than when we found it," says a crew member of a tree being trimmed.

It is tough to keep Raleigh's 6,000 intersections clear. The crews measure and mark the roads and keep a record of where they have to cut back. It is big job, but crew members say they still care about the little things.

Their policy on bird nests?

"They have to live too, so we try to work with that," says the crew member.

If the foilage blocking a sign is on public property, the city will send the homeowner a letter asking for the problem area to be cleared. After 15 days, the homeowner gets a second reminder. If the area has not been cleared after 30 days, city crews will step in and do the work.

When you trim limbs in the City of Oaks, it is a sure bet there is always something to keep you busy!

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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