Dear PoP – What’s Up With the Tree Boxes Fenced on 17th Street, NW?


“Dear PoP,

What’s up with all the tree boxes on 17th Street (between N and P I think). On both sides of the street, they’re surrounded by two-foot-high chain-link boxes. Is someone worried a squirrel might escape?”

I believe this is related to the Streetscape project for 17th Street, NW. DDOT writes:

“The $4.5M 17th Street Resurfacing Project is one of the District’s ARRA projects. The scope of work includes 17th Street from Mass Avenue to New Hampshire Avenue and is anticipated to be completed by fall 2010. Work includes, replacement of existing sidewalk with concrete sidewalk, new granite curbs and brick gutters, mill and overlay of the roadway, replacement of Fire Hydrants, installation of new trees in designated areas, new street lights and new traffic signals.”

Borderstan writes that “Construction will start Nov. 30, 2009, and end by Nov. 30, 2010.” Borderstan also reports on a rally this past Saturday because:

“At the November 23 public meeting on the 17th St. renovation project, DDOT reminded the community that a significant number of trees – virtually all the trees between P Street and Riggs on 17th Street – would be removed to accommodate the streetscape project.”

2 Comment

  • How is removing trees necessary to make nicer sidewalks?

  • The ddot presentation doesn’t say why trees need to be removed, but I can think of many reasons for replacing trees: if trees are sick or damaged, if they are adding drainage in the root zone of the trees, or otherwise improving the soil conditions in the planting area, if the new sidewalk will impact too much of the root zone of the existing tree, to change the spacing of trees or avoid conflict with new street lights. And so on.

    In any case, new trees are being planted. This street will have trees on it.

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