Letter to the Editor: Why were 34+ trees cut down on N 160th this month?

Thursday, August 19, 2021

To the Editor:

Why, when the City commissioned a Climate Resiliency Study and a strategy to be resilient in the climate crisis was to preserve existing conifers? When the large conifers remove tons of carbon dioxide from the air and deciduous replacement trees can't ever do as much?

Why, when the City committed to reduce greenhouse emissions and for every ton of cement produced for sidewalks nearly one ton of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere?

Why, when equity is a goal for the City and the canopy is inequitably distributed and becoming more so, were 8-foot wide sidewalks required necessitating more tree removal? Why, with the Shoreline's heat islands and accompanying health issues?

Why are 8-foot wide sidewalks better than 6-foot in an area where use will be limited since there is nothing along the WSDOT property that will draw walkers even with the development down toward Aurora--no beauty or interest or, for a long time, shade.

Why is there no transparent process for mediating the need to preserve Shoreline's natural environment for the health of us all with the needs for safe transportation and pathways. The city refused to accept WSDOT's proposal to save the trees on N 160th with new 6-foot wide sidewalks. City officials have said the reason for 8-foot wide sidewalks is that this is the "best practice" for persons with disabilities. Of course meet ADA requirements of 4 feet wide, but why does that 8-foot wide sidewalk preferred by the City "best practice" trump preserving the trees for residents?

Beyond N 160th -- Why was there no transparency about the width of sidewalks in the sidewalk initiative? Why has the sidewalk width for Single Family Residential now been changed from 5 to 6 feet without our knowledge?

Barbara Johnstone
Tree Preservation Code Team


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