Council eyeing Church St. tree options
by Jon Gillooly
September 04, 2012 12:33 AM | 2463 views | 8 8 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City of Marietta. Recd 8/30/12..Option 3 would include tree "islands" of at least 75 square feet each on both sides of Church Street between Polk and Mill streets. Total cost is estimated at $84,000 to $126,000.
City of Marietta. Recd 8/30/12..Option 3 would include tree "islands" of at least 75 square feet each on both sides of Church Street between Polk and Mill streets. Total cost is estimated at $84,000 to $126,000.
MARIETTA — The City Council is eyeing four options for planting trees along Church Street north of the Square to make the area more comfortable for shoppers.

The first option, which would cost between $48,000 to $72,000, would plant about a dozen trees along Church from Mill to Polk streets with no loss of parking spaces.

The second option, which would cost between $151,000 and $226,000, differs from the first in that curb line along the west side of Church would be relocated to allow for a wider sidewalk and landscaping, narrowing Church Street travel lanes from about 15 feet to 10 feet wide, said Dan Conn, the city’s public works director.

Mayor Steve Tumlin, whose law office is located on Church Street, said this is his favorite option.

“The tree plan, I think, in 1 and 2 are similar,” Tumlin said. “What makes No. 2 more likable is the wider sidewalk. We like the pedestrians on the Square, so making it cooler, making it where you can walk on the Square I think is a big plus.”

The third option city staff presented to the Council during its series of committee meetings on Wednesday, which would cost between $84,000 and $126,000, would eliminate six parking spaces, but have about twice the number of trees planted than the first two options.

“That makes it more in line with how many trees we have on the Square,” Conn said.

The final option would install a center median on Church Street, planting the trees in the center of the road. That option would cost between $64,000 and $96,000.

Tumlin said he liked the idea of a center median planted with trees, but others, such as Councilman Jim King, opposed it, saying it would confuse tourists into thinking Church Street was a two-way road.

“Basically it comes down to how much impact you want from the trees,” Conn said. “If you want to have a more or less full tree canopy along that section, then you would have to go with option three. But that has some impact on parking, whereas option two does not impact parking, but it does give you trees and some landscape benefits.”

Tumlin said the next step is to schedule a meeting in the next few weeks to get opinions from businessowners.

Councilman Andy Morris said he’s already heard an objection from Tom Browning, chairman of the Downtown Marietta Development Authority, who told him he doesn’t want to have to worry about tree leaves falling on the roofs of his buildings.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Kristin Picken
September 05, 2012
Bring on the trees! Marietta Square and the intersections around it are looking better every day. I walk to and from the square often and I love all of the changes.
September 04, 2012
Most of these ideas would be preferable and a nice added change to what exists now. Anything to make the environment nicer. And to those complaning about sidewalks buckling - your age is showing. By the time these trees can buckle sidewalks you will be 30 years underneath them already.
Yes, Sanity
September 05, 2012
And if you are such an "environmentalist" (which I doubt, because the epa group evidently doesn't think things through), then in 30 years YOU or your children will be paying to remove the trees and repair the sidewalks. Why not do the right thing first? Oh, that is right. Y'all only live for the quick satisfaction.

Don't line Church St or any of the surrounding streets or down medians with trees. Use plants, flowering plants, shrubbery, and even one specimen tree in a planting group, but don't line the incoming streets with trees that eventually kill the trees, destroy the sidewalks & make it hard to walk on them, and limbs that get in the way when the trees are smaller.

In conclusion, there are much more important things to work on around the Square than where trees should go on Church St. This is an example of why residents are so fed up with politicians. So FED UP!
September 04, 2012
As a business owner on Church street (you can actually see our front door in the renderings), I have to say that I'm in full support of anything that widens our sidewalks and gives us some shade.

The planters are nice, but I would love to have some beautiful trees out front for myself and my customers to enjoy.
September 04, 2012
None of the options make for a sound decision.

The trees grow and they buckle pavement and sidewalks as they try to send out roots to find water. They also damage underground utilities and will grow into the storm and sanitary sewer lines in their search for water.

Why not clean up the building facades and have the property owner add awnings? Oh wait Goldfinger owns them all and he is pissed at the city for not allowing his skyscraper.

Where is Sanity?
September 04, 2012
How utterly ridiculous to be considering how to spend money planting trees on this part of the street. I have lived here many decades & I don't get out of my car on Church St. and bemoan the lack of trees. There are plenty elsewhere in the park & around the Square. When the trees are small they will get in the way of car doors and pedestrians. Later they will get too big and lift up the sidewalk and someone will stumble and sue the city. They aren't needed down the center of the street either. Cars will hit them several times a year and then we have to replant. Spend money on things that make sense.

If you must plant something on the sidewalk, let it be plants or flowers, sparingly, NOT the entire length of the sidewalk, which would make it hard to even get on the sidewalk or in your car. When many around the Square complain about the lack of parking, it is the height of hypocracy to think about taking away any parking spaces.

Honest to goodness and you politicians wonder why the voters think you have no common sense or have lost your minds!
Shepherd Brown
September 04, 2012
Thank goodness for Tom Browning and his sound leadership on the MDA. As we all know, deciduous, broad leafed trees are among the biggest polluters around. Every fall they shed their leaves willy-nilly and never pick up after themselves. If leaves are permitted to fall on the buildings of Church Street, the possible benefit to the Square in terms of cooler temperatures, increased foot traffic and business, and natural beauty will be offset by the danger of structural collapse. There is, however, one compromise. We could let property owners put up buildings that are five, ten or more stories high as Mr. Browning and Mr. Goldstein would wish. Then, we’d have no tree leaves crushing down fragile roofs. But, pedestrians would have to contend with being poked in the eye by sharp, falling leaves or other severe injuries due to extended tree exposure. The safe bet would be to not merely refrain from planting more trees, but cut down any existing threats to our safety.
The Big Dawg
September 04, 2012
Choose whatever option you want to, but please repave the road. The alignment in my car takes a beating every time I travel that area.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides