RAPIDRIDE H LINE: 3 notes about trees

The road-rebuilding is done; station installation has begun. But much of the newest update from the RapidRide H Line project team is about trees.

(SDOT photo)

MORE TREES: Beyond what’s already in some of the medians, the project team has a lot more tree planting to do:

We have a policy to plant 2 new trees for 1 tree that was removed. The project will plant about 150 trees along the project area once landscaping is completed.

Our Urban Forestry team has been working with the project’s landscaping contractor to identify and finalize the locations for new trees located on and near Delridge Way SW. These locations have been marked with stakes in the median and planting strips throughout the corridor. We expect to plant these trees and restore the corridor with grass this upcoming spring.

If you would like to provide feedback on the proposed locations of these trees, please contact the Urban Forestry team at seattle.trees@seattle.gov.

SHELTER-SITE TRIMMING: The project team also notes, “If you live near a bus shelter installed by King County Metro, please be aware that pruning to a greater height of 11-12 feet of vertical clearance is necessary for bus shelter installation. If trees near your property need to be trimmed, you will receive additional notification of the schedule for this work from King County Metro. This work will be done by a Registered Tree Service Company under an SDOT Urban Forestry Permit to provide an 11 to 12’ clearance for shelter installation.” They’re expecting to schedule this work in February.

REMINDER FOR PROPERTY OWNERS: The update also includes a reminder that property owners need to keep trees and shrubs trimmed to eight feet of clearance above sidewalks. Further details about that are in the full update.

14 Replies to "RAPIDRIDE H LINE: 3 notes about trees"

  • CarDriver January 30, 2022 (2:46 pm)

    If the city does all this planting are they going to maintain them? Are they actually required to? If they want homeowners to plant more will they require(vs ask) them to maintain?

    • WSB January 30, 2022 (4:49 pm)

      We have already reported on all that. City/contractor maintenance is required.

  • Chemist January 30, 2022 (4:42 pm)

    Hopefully SDOT observes the same guidelines they instruct the general public – not planting trees within 30 ft of intersections or 10 ft of driveways.  I’m often amazed at how shielded by trees/hanging baskets folks near the mid-block crossings in the Alaska Junction can become and think 10 ft setback for tree planting should be the norm for crosswalks in general. 

    • anonyme February 1, 2022 (6:37 am)

      SDOT absolutely does NOT follow its own guidelines.  If you look at the street trees planted a few years ago along 35th in Arbor Heights as part of the sidewalk project, few of them meet the criteria.  In addition, red oaks were planted along the east side of the street in 3-4 ft. planting strips.  According to the SDOT street tree manual, 8 ft. is required for this species.  They also planted many trees, not in the planting strip, but in the narrow piece between the sidewalks and property lines.  Many of these trees will have to be removed, which is not only bad for the environment, but for taxpayers.

  • StopCuttingDownTrees January 30, 2022 (4:49 pm)

    It’s nice to see the city planting 2 trees for every one removed. The rate that homeowners are tearing down trees here in Arbor Heights is alarming. It’s too bad 2 new trees aren’t going in for each one that gets reduced to sawdust on private property. If this keeps up they’ll have to remame our area Stump Heights.

    • anonyme January 31, 2022 (6:30 am)

      Totally agree.  We’re also getting close to nesting season, and it’s illegal to cut down a tree with nesting birds in it.  Like many regulations in Seattle, this one is largely ignored, especially by the many unlicensed and untrained “tree trimmers” out there.  The city plantings related to the sidewalk project on 35th are a travesty.  The species that were planted and the bizarre locations they were planted in guarantee that these ‘street’ trees will not survive in their current locations.  Let’s hope SDOT does a better job on Delridge, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • bill January 30, 2022 (8:21 pm)

    This is craziness. Instead of bicycle lanes the city gives road space over to landscaping. Which requires maintenance, which means shutting down a lane for crews to work. And paying those crews to repeatedly do unnecessary work. On top of that, tree roots will eventually destroy pavement, curbs, and sidewalks. Just look around, the evidence is all over the city. In fact you will often trip on it.

    • Rhonda January 30, 2022 (9:52 pm)

      Those 150+ trees will be far better for the environment than cyclists. They will absorb CO2, provide decades of shade to help cool our urban heat dome, release oxygen, provide visual soothing, be home to birds, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, etc, etc…

      • cheeseWS777 January 31, 2022 (4:06 am)

        Without looking at any data, i still feel safe in my assumption that we live in one of the few places left with no shortage of trees. How come dot doesnt host poles online asking the people who will be using the roads what we would prefer done first and take that into acount. Our roads are allready hellish to drive on and i doubt the majority of drivers would pole for trees that will both take up a lane that couldve been used for cars or bikes, and will create potholes

      • Bus January 31, 2022 (5:46 am)

        Bicycle lanes are about more than their environmental impact.  People choose to bike because of shorter commute times, benefits to their personal health, cost of biking vs. driving, just because they think it’s fun, and a lot of other reasons.  There’s no need to pit bicyclists against trees.  I think good planning would allow for both.  I personally am excited for the trees, and happy about the median in the middle of Delridge (where there is one), but I understand the frustration at seeing some modes of transportation being constantly prioritized over others.

        • Leon S Kennedy January 31, 2022 (8:12 pm)

          The median in Delridge is really, really dumb. Why on earth wouldn’t you give that precious space to a protected bike lane sigh

      • Joe Z January 31, 2022 (7:48 am)

        It takes 45 mature trees to offset the annual emissions of a single passenger vehicle. So these 150 trees will offset 3 cars—in a few decades when they are mature trees. And that assumes that the trees are not chipped or composted when they die. 

        • Rhonda January 31, 2022 (2:18 pm)

          In less than 20 years nearly every car, truck, van, and SUV will be zero-emission electric. Those trees will continue to provide all of their wonderful benefits long after the internal combustion engines are gone and we’ll be glad we chose them over bike lanes (and anyone can safely ride a bike on Delridge as it’s currently configured, anyway).

      • Eldorado January 31, 2022 (8:52 am)

        I think the idea is that the more people that have safe access to bike lanes the better… thus they bike to work (and other places) in lieu of driving in cars and buses. I agree, more trees are good for the environment, but this is the evergreen state and all. Bike lanes save people. 

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