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The first option, planting 260 trees spaced 50 feet apart about 4 feet from the curb, would cost about $4 million if planting were skipped in areas with severe slopes. Planting the trees 4 feet from the curb would have more visual impact on the street. The trees would soften the look of the street and make it appear narrower. In addition, placing the trees closer to the street would move the sidewalk and pedestrians farther from the flow of traffic, SRF said.
But having the trees near the curb carries the higher price tag. Using space close to the street for trees would push the sidewalk farther out, requiring the purchase of two strips of land, on either side of the street, running the entire length of the 2½-mile project. Other cons include the fact that trees close to the curb would make it more difficult to remove snow on the street and sidewalk, SRF said.
The second option, putting the sidewalk closer to the street and planting the same 250 trees 8 to 10 feet from the curb, would cost $1.3 million. This is less expensive because the only additional land needed would be plots to plant trees beside the sidewalk. Removed somewhat from the traffic, the trees would have a better growing environment and sidewalk snow removal would be easier, SRF said.
The drawback to the less expensive option is that the trees would have less visual impact on the street. Pedestrians would be closer to the flow of traffic because the sidewalk, not the trees, would be closer to the street.
Laurie Blake • 952-746-3287