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Letters: If a tree grows beside a sidewalk

April 26, 2014

Re “Sidewalks of shame,” Mailbag, April 19

Looking at the photo in The Times of the 17-year-old bicyclist riding over a broken sidewalk in Los Angeles caused by enormous tree roots confirms one's belief in the mindlessness of government thinking.

Who, in his or her right mind, would plant trees that grow huge, shallow roots next to sidewalks in the first place?

There is no way to repair this situation without cutting down the tree (if that happens, I would hear the screaming all the way up here in Bakersfield). If the city were to prune the root, it would create a stability problem in which the tree might fall, causing real problems. If it doesn't prune the root, the repaired sidewalk would just be a disaster again.

Brilliant thinking.

Robert Braley
Bakersfield

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