Letter: Trees missing from sidewalk improvement plan

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Looking at the Johnston Boulevard sidewalk improvement project, I was disappointed to see that street trees were not included. This area is currently losing its tree canopy. Including street trees in this project is both the time and place for the city to stand up and support trees in our communities.

This is an underserved neighborhood that is developing quickly. If street trees are not included now, this neighborhood may never have them. At the minimum, the city should provide tree pits (openings in the sidewalk) at the standard street tree spacing so that the community could plant the trees in the future.

If no accommodations are provided now as part of this project, there may never be a chance for this neighborhood and community to have the trees they deserve.

— Mike J. Zukoski


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Letter: Trees missing from sidewalk improvement plan

  1. Mike R.

    Another alternative and insight to consider: Right of way tree plantings by the City generally do not afford the best environment for trees to flourish. First, there is usually limited space and secondly, there are underground utilities (mainly water and sewer lines/connections) that sometimes have to be dug up and that can damage a tree. Also, many ROW’s have power lines above them so this limits the size of the tree that can be planted. And finally, trees near sidewalks often damage the sidewalk over time by lifting the concrete with their root system.

    A much better, but more difficult approach is to get neighbors to plant trees in their front yards far enough from sidewalks to avoid that potential impact. This of course requires more citizen involvement; someone to help coordinate the plantings, picking the trees and lining up community help to plant them. However, a program like this would have far greater benefits in the long run than the current approach of having the city do everything. But again, citizens would have to be involved. I suspect an established program like this would be supported by the city and they would probably provide the trees.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.