Tree roots buckled this sidewalk of Baker at Fell but no longer
The North Panhandle's mature trees often buckle the sidewalks, creating hazards for the unwary or distracted stroller. One property owner on Baker Street at Fell decided to not risk liability for injuries and replaced the concrete surrounding two of the large street trees fronting the building.
It's always an improvement to have smoother, safer sidewalks, but the neighborhood would benefit from more permeable sidewalks to absorb storm water runoff. Using the sidewalk replacement in these photos as examples, several feet on either side of the trees could have been opened for additional planting or filled with loose materials instead. One recent example of a new formulation for sidewalks can be seen at the Zygmunt Arendt House at Broderick and Golden Gate (previously reported here). A residential model of open sidewalk space is in place at Broderick and Hayes.
Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) will be sponsoring a street-tree planting in NOPA on July 31st, and all the new trees will be welcome. Property owners will get the benefit of a subsidy to cover cutting and removing the concrete for the new trees and for the trees, but the city currently levies an additional fee for anyone who wants enlarged basins. A fee waiver here could greatly increase green space and return rainwater to the aquifer at relatively small cost.