Cynthia Pratt guesses at least 200 cars had to be moved from two blocks of Hobart Street NW in Mount Pleasant for tree trimming early this month. But as usual, some residents disregarded the no-parking signs. In the past, parking scofflaws were ticketed, and trimmers worked around the cars, says Pratt, who has lived on the street for more than 30 years. Not this time.

When the trimmers arrived, they saw the cars and left without starting their saws, Pratt says. But not before calling parking enforcement, which doled out $50 parking tickets. “They didn’t even try to do any work,” says Pratt, whose husband had taken their Toyota to work. “They could have done so much, but they just didn’t.”

When Pratt called the Urban Forestry Administration, she was told the contractor didn’t trim the trees because the contract said he had to cut them all at once. “We talked for a long time about what’s practical in the city,” Pratt says.

Erik Linden, a spokesman for District Department of Transportation, says the agency is looking into what happened on Hobart Street. “It appears that the job was not done, but that we were not necessarily informed that the job was not done,” Linden says, adding that DDOT sent the contactor a letter of warning.

Linden says the trimmers will be back to Hobart Street. Pratt hopes it will be soon. During winter storms, she says, falling branches from the 60-foot oaks will “make a mess out of somebody’s car.”

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