As someone who has made trees a life-long part of my professional and artistic careers, I am always blown away by the confusion and miss-placed prioritization that comes along with any road improvement project.
We all have our own version of perfect when it comes to what we desire for ourselves, but when we move to make these versions of perfect be the enemy of the greater good, we loose our collective way forward. It isn’t that we should drop our community desire to maintain a certain aesthetic quality we all share in our public spaces, but we need to recognize the real facts of carrying capacity when it comes to the functionality of our public infrastructure and hold these facts as reality.
Used as weapons to stymie any legitimate project are the same old worn out but unanswerable questions of speeding, busted-up trees, and failed culverts, which over the years have created wetlands. Given the fact that disparate public opinions from passionate overnight experts has replaced well-educated and well-paid engineers in the field, it is no wonder we see fearful bikers and hikers along the “bypass” that had been under-built years ago.
Road safety and carrying capacity works on islands the same way it does on the mainland. We don’t actually pass through into a different physical reality when we ride the ferry home. Let’s not allow a simple and very necessary improvement turn into just another Alaska Way Viaduct fiasco.