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Letter: Crime to destroy trees for sidewalk

George & Shirley Ruedy

In reference to the city’s projected sidewalk project on 34th Street SE in Cedar Rapids:

We have lived on 34th Street for 16 years, between Cottage Grove and Bever avenues. While individual properties are serene, populated with lush green trees and lawns, the street is neither conducive to joggers or walkers, not because of the sidewalks or lack thereof, but because 34th Street is a clear shot from Mount Vernon Road to Cottage Grove and vehicles — from compact cars to roaring motorcycles to industrial trucks — use it as their main artery.

Joggers’ main exercise is gained through avoiding the steel wheels bolting past. Walkers are not in for a leisurely stroll.

Even with shiny new sidewalks, the traffic isn’t going to change. The roar and wind of the motorcycles will still be there. The trucks lumbering close to the curb won’t change. Cars racing to their destinations will be the same.

A major point: The 10-foot bite the city would make into property on either side of 34th would irreparably damage the natural landscape, e.g., there is one whole row of ancient pine trees that would be felled — an absolute crime. Adding insult to injury is the many thousands of dollars homeowners could be assessed.

There’s an adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We argue not about the bridge replacement and sewer work. What is broke — why, fix it. Leave the rest alone.

George and Shirley Ruedy

Cedar Rapids

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