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Genesee Conservation District

Street Trees and Sidewalks

525 N. Elms Rd. Flint, MI 48532


(810) 230-8766 Ext.131
geneseecd.org
Promoting natural resource conservation in our community

Short Term Plan


Solution
The four trees at 1602 Brookwood Ave. can remain standing with
very little effort. The existing sidewalk at the site is 5 feet wide, if
reduced to 4 feet in the areas adjacent to the trees, the trees can
remain standing without further root and tree cutting. A slight
tapering from the 5 foot to 4 foot section will be aesthetically
pleasing, safe for pedestrians, and lifesaving for the trees (Image
1). A variance is not needed due to the existing ordinance that
states sidewalks shall be not less than four feet wide (City of Flint
Ordinances). Also it will be considered ADA compliant, a
sidewalk may be less than 5 wide, but must be at minimum
3 (ADA Post Inspection Checklist).

City of Flint Ordinances (pg. 208)

Image 1

Sec. II. All sidewalks shall be built and kept in repair at the expense of the owners of adjoining lots unless
otherwise directed by the Common Council. All crosswalks shall be built and kept in repair under the direction of the Board of Public Works or of such other person or persons as the Board of Public Works may designated and shall be not less than four feet wide, and if of wood, not less than one and one half inches thick of
like material as sidewalks are required to be built of, and the expense of the same shall be paid out of the
ward highway fund.

Draft Zoning Code ( Section 50.8.17 Pedestrian Access Pg. 22)


F. Minmum Width for Pedestrians. At least five (5) feet of sidewalk space shall be kept clean and clear for the
free passage of pedestrians at all times. An Administrative Departure may be approved by the Zoning Administrator upon consultation with the Traffic Engineer, and a lesser width of clear area approved if it is determined that public safety shall not be substantially impaired. In evaluating a request for an Administrative Departure, the following shall be considered
a. Street classification and usage
b. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic volumes
c. Nature of vehicular and pedestrian traffic (i.e. school children, etc.)
d. Availability and practicality (i.e., convenience) of alternative pedestrian routes; and
e. Time of day, time of week, time of year, and duration of obstructions .

Benefits of Street Trees


Reduce Crime
A 10% increase in tree canopy is associated with a 12% drop in crime.

Traffic Calming
Creating a buffer for traffic and pedestrians makes a safer walking environment.

Reduce Air Pollution


100 trees remove 53 tons of carbon dioxide and over 400 lbs of air pollutants.

Raise Property Values


Homes landscaped with trees sell more quickly and are worth 5% to 15% more.

Manages Storm Water


Trees adsorb and help infiltrate water, which reduces runoff.
100 mature trees capture 139,000 gal of rainwater each year.

Evaporative Cooling & Shading


Reduces the Urban Heat Island effect.
Keeps yards, roads and houses shaded.
Can cut residential air-conditioning costs 20%-50%.

Creates a Human Connection to Nature


People walk and jog more on shady streets, which encourages interaction with neighbors and
improves the sense of community.

Break Down of Costs and Benefits


National Tree Benefit Calculator
In order to determine the benefits of each tree at 1602 Brookwood Ave we used the Arbor Day Foundation
National Tree Benefit Calculator. The zipcode used was 48502 Flint, MI, the tree type used was a Silver Maple, and we used the 4 different diameters of the trees (34, 27, 29, 30). The results were demonstrated with
the charts found below.
While some functional benefits of trees are well documented, others are difficult to quantify (e.g., human
social and communal health). Trees specific geography, climate, and interactions with humans and infrastructure is highly variable and makes precise calculations that much more difficult. Given these complexities, the
results presented here should be considered initial approximations-a general accounting of the benefits produced by urban street-side plantings. Benefits of trees do not account for the costs associated with trees
long-term care and maintenance (Arborday.org).

Tree DBH
(inches)

Overall Benefits (every year)

34

$426

27

$331

29

$358

30

$371

Total

$1486

Break Down of Costs and Benefits Cont.


Tree Tracker/ i-Tree Streets Value
Each street tree in the City of Flint has ben inventoried by Knowles Municipal Forestry, the company that
created our Tree Inventory and Management Plan for the City of Flint, MI. The inventory in tree tracker includes many different statistics on each tree, including the value of each tree to the city. This value is created using i-Tree streets, which is an analysis tool for urban forest managers that uses tree inventory data to
quantify the dollar value of annual environmental and aesthetic benefits: energy conservation, air quality improvement, CO2 reduction, storm water control, and property value increase. (itreetools.org). The four
trees at 1602 Brookwood Ave held the following values in i-Tree Streets:

Tree

Value in Tree Tracker

$3,142.07

$2,166.59

$2,443.54

$2,589.44

Total $10,341.64

Cost to Remove Trees


Due to the extreme height and width of the trees, estimated cost to remove each tree could be at the least
$1,200 and could be up to $2,000. To remove all four of the trees it could cost anywhere from $4,800 to
$8,000, which is less than the actual value of all of the trees. From a monetary standpoint removing the trees
will cost the city, especially when the trees are worth $2,000 more living.

Tree

Minimum Cost to Remove

Tree

Maximum Cost to Remove

$1,200

$2,000

$1,200

$2,000

$1,200

$2,000

$1,200

$2,000

Total

$4,800

Total

$8,000