MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX) — A project to add a reversible bus lane and new bike lanes along two busy thoroughfares in Mountain View is facing pushback from residents after locals learned over two dozen heritage trees would need to be removed.
The intersection of Shoreline Boulevard and Middlefield Road is in the middle of the project’s area. It calls for new left-turn lanes, a reversible bus lane, and new bike lanes. But as a result, the city would have to get rid of more than two dozen heritage trees.READ MORE: Repairs Finish Early on Ramp Between I-80 and Highway 101
“It just seems unfortunate that we would have to get rid of them,” said resident Lincoln Myers.
The project to improve the roadway is needed to help accommodate traffic in the area as the population grows, according to city officials.
Mountain View officials said they made an effort to preserve as many trees as possible while mapping out the project. However back in April, they acknowledged the project would likely result in the removal of 120 trees, including 16 heritage trees.
In return, 24-inch box trees would be planted in places throughout the project area.READ MORE: Two Men Fatally Shot Near Laurel District in Oakland
But the number of heritage trees that would get the axe has grown over the past several months. During a September 8th Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, members were tasked with making a recommendation to the City Council about the possible removal of 11 more heritage trees, bringing the total to 26.
The commissioners ultimately voted they would not recommend moving forward with the removal of 11 more heritage trees for the project. One argued getting rid of so many heritage trees so people can save a few minutes in traffic is a concern.
However, the commission doesn’t have the final say. It was just their recommendation to the council.
Some locals tell KPIX 5 sacrificing the trees for traffic needs would eliminate their neighborhood’s beauty.
“I think the trees are gorgeous. Honestly, we’re not really for the city getting rid of them,” Sofia Herrera said. “We were a little bit sad to hear that they could go.”MORE NEWS: Afghan American Family Finally Returns to California; 'It's A Story Of Hope'
No trees are scheduled to be removed before the Mountain View City Council discusses the issue at a meeting on October 26, according to a spokesperson for the city.