SEAFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nearly 200 old oak trees are being chopped down along a mile-and-a-half stretch of Seamans Neck Road in Seaford, upsetting many residents.

County officials say the trees have damaged the sidewalks beyond repair, posing a pedestrian hazard, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported. The oaks need to be removed so new sidewalks can be built, officials said.

Resident Doris Votke, of the “Save Our Trees” campaign, tried but failed to stop what she and her neighbors call the “chainsaw massacre,” CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

“It’s really depressing. That’s why we moved to Long Island, for the trees, and we don’t need that many sidewalks,” Votke said. “It does look like a war zone.”

Seaford homeowner Ed Rose said the lack of trees will affect his daily walking routine.

“I used to enjoy walking down here in the shade every day, a couple of miles. Now it is bright sunlight. My skin cancer is going to get worse,” Ed Rose said.

Rose said the trees were also a sound barrier from the nearby expressway, adding character to the community.

“Where it was a nice canopy of trees, now you can tell it’s very empty and open,” Seaford resident Rob Ciani told Xirinachs. ” … It looks kind of like a blank corridor.”

Homeowner Joan Gilgannon told CBS 2 the sidewalk renewal was shoved down the community’s throat without a public hearing.

“I called the town of Hempstead, Mangano’s hotline, I talked to someone in the Department of Public Works and he said, ‘Nothing you can do, you can’t stop it,’” Gilgannon said.

Residents say removing the trees is destroying the look and feel of the community, but some, like resident Angie Steinberg, understand. Steinberg welcomes the rebuilding and says injury is only a step away.

“I pay enough taxes. They should be fixed and people are going to get hurt,” Steinberg said.

But as McLogan reported, some residents wonder why the sidewalks can’t be repaired without removing the trees that some said offered their homes protection from speeding cars unable to negotiate the street’s curve.

The county said new trees will be planted in the fall to replace the ones being removed, CBS 2 reported.

CBS 2 has not heard back from Nassau County about how much the removal, replanting and sidewalk repairs will cost taxpayers.

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