Is this tree really necessary?

9 Oct

Since everyone else in the blogoaksphere is talking about things that annoy them, I thought I’d share one of the things that bothers me daily – this tree:

Sure, the tree looks harmless. Until you see what it’s hiding:

Really, who was the genius that decided to put a tree directly in front of the 1/1R bus stop sign on Broadway at 14th? It is easily one of the busiest stops on the 1 line and probably one of the busiest stops in the entire AC Transit system.

Nearly once a week, I see someone wandering around the area, clearly looking for the bus stop, and I have to show them where it is. Besides that, the tree makes where to wait confusing. Sometimes the bus pulls up all the way to the bus stop, and it other times it stops in front of the tree. That isn’t a big deal for someone like me who can get around easily, but it makes it more difficult for elderly and disabled passengers to board the bus.

I like trees as much as anyone else, but I think it’s time to admit that trees are not appropriate everywhere. This is clearly a place where the tree does more detriment than its asthetic and environmental appeal is worth. Somehow though, I’m guessing in Oakland it would be an uphill battle to get this tree removed.


5 Responses to “Is this tree really necessary?”

  1. jennconspiracy October 9, 2008 at 1:57 pm #

    ROTFLMAO – this is the funniest post ever. Skip the bus. Go have a beer at the Trappist. ha ha!

  2. Becks October 9, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    Actually, these photos were taken last night after some drinks at Radio, and a beer at the Trappist would have been great too. But I still have to go wait at this tree blocked bus stop afterward if I ever intend to go home.

  3. dto510 October 10, 2008 at 2:38 pm #

    That block is a major pedestrian bottleneck. When I came to the public meeting on the streetscape plan, I told city staff that there simply isn’t room on that block for street trees because of the volume of pedestrians and people waiting for the bus. Their response: “people like trees.” People also like being able to walk down the sidewalk. People also like being able to catch the bus.

    My comments were never official reported or responded to, and the Council and Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee were never given an opportunity to look at pedlock issues before these trees were planted about a year ago.

  4. Georgia October 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    Can the bus stop sign be relocated – in front of the tree?

  5. Becks October 11, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    Georgia – theoretically, yes. When I have some time, I’m going to write a letter to AC Transit and the City of Oakland to see if anything can be done.

    But dto510 makes some good points about whether it’s wise to have so many trees in that pedestrian heavy area. It may make sense to thin out some trees and this particular tree should be the first to go.

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