Street Trees on State Roads Spark Controversy in Louisville

Louisville's goals to plant and grow an urban forest to mitigate the city's heat island effect has run afoul of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's engineering standards for state owned roads.

December 12, 2014, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"The city's tree advocates and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are colliding head-on over rules for safer and easier-to-maintain state roadways," reports James Bruggers.

"As Metro Louisville, neighborhood and nonprofit organizations plant thousands of trees to fight a documented problem of urban heat, the cabinet's highway department is working to prevent new shade trees along streets it maintains, such as Brownsboro Road."

The state highway department's regional office has argued that trees present a safety hazard to "motorists who may drive off the road." The cost of maintenance is also cited in opposition to the street trees. The city, however, has identified street trees as a solution for its heat island problem. A 2013 study found that Louisville has the worst heat island effect of any city in the country.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 in The Courier-Journal

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