As part of the “Bell Street Park” project, the city is planning to remove 46 trees from Bell Street. Their reasons for doing so include improper drainage, lighting conflicts, sidewalk intrusion and cost now vs. cost later. The way I’m reading the project description makes me feel like these are dubious reasons and the removal is for aesthetic purposes only. The interference of the current trees with the “curbless” design of the park is mentioned. The park designer has also described wanting a replacement of the trees so that there would be a better “tree canopy.” These trees are currently only halfway through their life expectancy; none of the reasons seem significant enough to warrant the removal of so many trees. The City claims it will plant 105 new trees but that appears to be the total number of trees they will plant with the funds from a 2008 levy; that doesn’t spell out how many trees will be replaced on Bell Street. 105 doesn’t make sense — they can’t plant that many on Bell Street. If you feel that the trees should be left in place, PLEASE contact the Project Manager, Patrick Donohue, by tomorrow’s response deadline: firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-684-9286.
A description of the project can be found here: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/bell_street/boulevard_park.htm