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City Launches Survey to Gather Public Input on New Trees for Park Street

Earlier this week, Alameda Deputy City Manager Alexander Nguyen announced the city would conduct a survey to collect public input to establish criteria for new trees for Park Street.

The announcement followed a contentious public meeting about work done in October that saw a number of mature trees along the city’s main business street cut down.

In his announcement, Mr. Nguyen acknowledged that residents expressed outrage at that meeting over the removal of the trees.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, local activist Gretchen Lipow described the meeting as “very contentious…staff did their best to run the meeting, but I don’t think they anticipated the response they were going to get from the community…there were no speaker slips, the meeting wasn’t structured like a council meeting, like it should have been. People shouted from the back, arguments ensued, it was probably one of the wildest and wooliest meetings in this city.”

For its part, the City of Alameda has published, along with the survey, a list of considerations for the replacement trees:

Technical

  • Balance needs of pedestrians, wheelchairs, bicyclists, bus riders, and automobiles
  • Minimize root damage to sidewalk for pedestrian safety and clearance for wheelchairs
  • Mix of species and tree heights
  • Locate trees together with additional streetlights and additional bike racks
  • Excessive pod/fruit dropping
  • Pruning requirements

Community

  • Shade
  • Year-round foliage
  • Shade in summer, open in winter for more light
  • Colorful –foliage and/or flowering
  • Uniformity for Park Street , continuity with rest of Park Street
  • Unique look/character to Park Street , different kinds of trees
  • Fast growing, big & tall

The survey is available online here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/parkstreettrees

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