On Oct. 30 we read about the crisis the emerald ash borer is creating in Hennepin County suburbs. As has happened too many times before, there is another threatened loss of trees, this time on Hennepin Avenue. This too should concern us and has nothing to do with an insect.

This past summer much controversy surrounded the creation of 24/7 dedicated bike lanes and bus lanes on Hennepin Avenue between Douglas Avenue and Lake Street. These lanes would have eliminated most parking, forcing parking into neighborhoods and hurting small businesses. Many neighbors and small businesses protested, only to learn that there could be no change in the plan for the bike lanes.

They were informed that the two-way lanes must be created on Hennepin Avenue (no alternative, such as a side street, will do) because it's part of a larger plan that must go forward at all costs (for reasons unclear).

The plan for the bus lanes, however, was changed to allow for street parking during off-hours — a slight modification.

We only recently learned that deep in the weeds of the Hennepin Avenue plan is the intention to remove practically all of the trees on this 12-block stretch to make these changes possible.

Where is the logic, the common sense, the honesty involved in making these plans? We see many articles in this newspaper lamenting the loss of trees, which quietly and cost-effectively sequester carbon. We read that low-income communities of color are especially hurting because of the lack of trees in their neighborhoods.

So how does removing trees to put in bike lanes make any sense, especially given that, at best, approximately 0.3% of transport needs — commuting to work, grocery shopping, getting kids to school, etc. — are met via bicycle? One might think that the single-minded and well-funded bike lobby (with many dollars from outside Minneapolis) has the power to intimidate city leaders into supporting its agenda in the face of clear evidence that prioritizing bike lanes does not meet the stated goals of the Minneapolis 2040 plan and destroys an existing asset vitally important to the health of our city and planet.

The loss of so many trees to the emerald ash borer is heartbreaking and, so far, beyond our control. The loss of healthy trees to the city's chain saws is equally heartbreaking — and something we can and should control.

Erik Storlie lives in Minneapolis. This article was also submitted on behalf of the following Minneapolis residents: Tera Arnold, Christy Banks, Carol Dines, Signe Dyksen, Joanne Hedrick, Lisa McDonald, Susan Lenfestey, Gay Moldow, Lara Norkus-Crampton, Constance Pepin, Carin Peterson, Beth Popalisky, Ruth Usems, Sarah Walbridge Jones, Darcy Winter and Jack Zipes.