Draft Trees and Sidewalks Operations Plan Ready for Comments

SidewalkSo you’re out for a stroll in the neighborhood and you come across a sidewalk that’s starting to buckle. As you take a closer look, it’s easy to tell that the roots of the large, beautiful tree next to the sidewalk are the cause of the problem.

Street trees and sidewalks both play vital roles in the public realm, helping to make Seattle more livable and sustain our quality of life. It’s not unusual to find examples of trees and sidewalks in conflict, especially in older neighborhoods with more mature trees.

But what to do? No one wants to lose a tree, but we need our sidewalks to be flat enough and wide enough for people to use.

The purpose of the Seattle Department of Transportation operations plan is to be clear about SDOT’s responsibilities and processes and to provide guidance on installation, repair, and maintenance of sidewalks and street trees in Seattle. The plan includes the following sections:

  • Best practices research from around the country that can inform the work SDOT does in Seattle;
  • A transparent decision process that explains how SDOT makes choices about keeping or removing a tree;
  • A toolkit of solutions SDOT can use to plant and retain healthy trees and provide accessible sidewalks; and
  • Three case studies that put the decision process and tools to the test.

The operations plan is available for review on SDOT’s website, at

All comments are welcome and must be received by Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Please take a minute to look through the plan and share your thoughts.



5 comments to Draft Trees and Sidewalks Operations Plan Ready for Comments

  • michael ludwig

    My comment is, where can I find a sidewalk in my neighborhood?

  • Sue

    I just thumbed through it. Looks pretty complete though since almost none of us in this area have sidewalks its hard to relate. All I have in front of my house is an open ditch which the city cleans out about every 10 years.

  • Nancy

    There are sidewalks on 15th NE and Roosevelt Way NE. There are sidewalks on the streets that were given swales 6 years ago.

  • Sue

    Sidewalks are a very sore subject. Yes, arterials in the neighborhood have sidewalks for the most part. But if we take the percentage of all streets in Pinehurst that have sidewalks the number is very low. We all know the backstory but we grow impatient.

  • katherine

    What sidewalks? Why do people in this and other neighborhoods in north seattle have to take their lives in their hands to walk somewhere? I thought Seattle was this green city, wanting everyone walking or biking. Then make it safe for walkers and bikers.

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