THE BRONX - Lawyers representing several city agencies held a closed-door meeting with neighborhood and environmental activists tonight in an attempt to compromise over the removal of Pelham Parkway trees.

For more than a year, the two sides have battled over the city's plan to chop down more than 70 trees in order to build a guard rail along the accident-prone roadway.

City officials say the construction is necessary to improve safety for drivers, but the Pelham Parkway Preservation Alliance argues the guard rail will destroy more trees than projected and take away from the environmental preservation of the area.

City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe says the meeting went well. Attorneys for the preservation alliance are also optimistic. They say they're confident a deal will be reached, but are still prepared to go to trial if necessary.

Pelham Parkway trees saved from the axStudy: Trees on Pelham Parkway pose little threat to motoristsOfficials visit Pelham Parkway, explain tree-removal plan