TreePAC Recommends Shoreline Study Alternative Sidewalk Designs to Save Trees

Dear Shoreline City Council and Shoreline Manager,

We are respectfully proposing that the Shoreline City Council strongly consider asking the Parks/Tree Board to appoint a special committee to study Alternative Sidewalk Designs. Potential losses of large numbers of mature trees such as that proposed on Dayton Ave N with the WSDOT project are of great concern.

The special committee  would deal with considering ways to resolve existing  conflicts that naturally occur when new sidewalks are proposed, and large trees are impacted or slated to be removed. These conflicts are likely to continue and escalate if this issue is not more proactively dealt with. Shoreline needs to  work to  alleviate the problems with creative solutions instead of relying on exceptions. Maintaining existing  trees and the urban forest has to be a high priority for Shoreline as the city grows and becomes more dense.

Shoreline has already deployed such designs in many cases over the last decade for the purpose of more sustainability and practicality. For instance, at Southwoods Park a sidewalk was required when the new park was created. It included a 3 ft ADA path, winding through the trees along NE 150th Street, alongside a natural drainage swale planted with natives. The path had 3 different treatment, including 1/3 of it being permeable pavement. There are many other examples that Shoreline has utilized as well around town. There are also many other examples deployed in Seattle and other neighboring cities.

This committee at Parks would be best if it included several Parks Board members and some members of the community. It could devote a few months to come up with a portfolio of potential alternative solutions for the Council to consider as amendments to the Development Code and Engineering Code.

We hope you will seriously consider this suggestion offered in good faith as a solution to some inevitable tree loss conflicts which are likely to persist otherwise.

TreePAC is an all volunteer organization that works to promote protection of Trees and  Urban Forests and promote quality of life for all cities in the Seattle Area.


Steve Zemke – TreePAC Chair

2131 N 132nd St

Seattle, WA 98133

Letter and recommendation adopted Feb 26, 2020 by Tree PAC Board.

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