WSDOT cuts 34 tall trees for sidewalk project - but it could have been 133

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Photo by Melody Fosmore

By Melody Fosmore

Residents driving or walking along N 160th at Dayton Ave N will see a new view of the Washington State Department of Transportation building.

On Monday, approximately 34 tall trees were cut down as part of the WSDOT frontage renovation, permit DEV19-2371. 

WSDOT is in the midst of a $46.5 million dollar renovation which triggers the City code for frontage renovation. WSDOT is financially responsible for this renovation. 

Originally 133 tall trees were to be removed. Since November 2019, due to overwhelming public outcry to “save our tall trees,” spearheaded by Save Shoreline Trees, neighbors, and residents, WSDOT submitted multiple frontage designs to the City in an effort to save the trees along Dayton Ave N, N 155th, and N 160th. 

New view of WSDOT building after trees were cut for a sidewalk project
Photo by Melody Fosmore

WSDOT’s designs saved most of the trees along N 155th by moving the approved 5-foot-wide sidewalk to the south side of N 155th. An elevated walkway will be installed along Dayton Ave N, saving most of the trees along the avenue. Approximately 95 trees have been saved! 

However, the City did not approve WSDOT’s design for a 6-foot-wide sidewalk along N 160th, instead requiring an 8-foot-wide sidewalk. 

There are many sidewalk projects currently in City planning, including the design for 6-foot-wide sidewalks along 5th Ave NE between NE 175th St to NE 182nd Ct where 23 tall trees will be cut down. 

At the City Council meeting on Monday evening, City Council was asked to add the topic of sidewalk widths to an upcoming Council agenda so the citizens of Shoreline have the opportunity to make public comments regarding sidewalk widths before it is too late and what happened at N 160th is repeated over and over in Shoreline.


Boni Biery,  August 11, 2021 at 10:37 AM  

At a time when we need our trees more than ever this arbitrary removal of mature native trees is a blaring demostration of just how out of touch the city codes and decision makers are with the people and environment they are supposed to represent and protect.

The City Council needs to give citizens the opportunity to be heard.

Anonymous,  August 11, 2021 at 8:43 PM  

I agree with the above comment. There must be a way to make sidewalks usable without cutting so many trees! Shade for sidewalks would be welcome! Better air would, too!

I would be happy to serve (for free) on a team to design sidewalks with trees - if you would be willing to stop cutting them down.

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