News Flash


Posted on: July 17, 2020

Elm Street Project FAQ

Elm Street Diagram Cross-Section copy

Q: How many trees are you removing?
A: About 11. 

Q: Will you be replacing the trees?
A. Yes. Plans are drawn up to replace each tree that gets removed. 

Q: What kind of trees will you replant?
A: Varieties to be replanted include oak, maple, and honeylocust.

Q: Have you asked the community for input?
A: We opened the public discussion about this project in August of 2018, before the grant request was submitted. There have been numerous public meetings since then, as well as interaction with every homeowner along the project. We welcome your questions and input, and the mayor, city staff, and city council members are always happy to speak with you one on one.

Q: Can you just make the sidewalk jog to save trees?
A: The sidewalk design is to minimize the removal of existing trees. There are a few places it isn’t logistically feasible.

Q: Why are you building a sidewalk on Elm Street anyway?
A: The main reason this sidewalk was proposed was to allow school children a safe route to school, a priority that has been included on several planning documents. This urgency of this project came when the school system stopped bus service in town, causing many more children to need to walk or bike to school. 

Q: Why can’t the sidewalk run along the highway?
A: It’s a safety concern to have a heavily used sidewalk right next to a highly trafficked highway. Elm Street is a current school access route and has an existing railroad crossing, making it an ideal route for walking to school.

Q: If you keep cutting down trees, won’t Baldwin City end up without any trees?
A: We understand this concern and take pride in our trees as a city, which is why we’ve had a Tree City USA designation for 17 years. Per a survey done by the Baldwin City Tree Board in 2003, “street trees” in the city right of way (within 25 feet of the road), numbered 4,355 total. Out of 88 total species in the city, the most abundant is hard or sugar maple. In 2003 there were 835 sugar maples, which is 16% of the total. Over the last 15 years, the Baldwin City Tree Board has given away 85+ trees each year to citizens. There are no statistics available on the total number of trees in Baldwin City limits, but it is not a small number. 

Q: Why 6 feet wide?
A: The minimum sidewalk for a KDOT Transportation Alternatives Grant is 6 feet. It’s a sufficient width to allow school children to walk or bike to school and as a major pedestrian route through the middle of town, connecting the elementary schools to most of town.

Q: Aren’t there more important things to spend grant money on?
A: This money is awarded based on a specific project and cannot be used for anything else.

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