The DJ has printed two letters to the editor this week on the trees on the Avenew which raise interesting issues. The first is from an early printed Voice contributor
Is it too late to rip out the Zelkovas used so dominantly in the Burlingame Avenue street remodel? Before hard-pressed taxpayers respond in revulsion at the idea, they should consider that the cost of reinstallation at this point is a one-time expense. As it is, the people of Burlingame will be paying to water, prune and sweep leaves for these eyesores for decades to come. Why not spend that money on trees that would truly beautify our town?
And while we’re at it, let’s clean up the coffee stains on (what were) those new pretty sidewalks.
Mike Reitsma, Burlingame
A very short walk down Burlingame Avenue is all it takes for one to wonder who is in charge of upkeep and beautification of our most important city project. As Mike Reitsma noted in a prior letter, and many friends of mine concur, the recently planted zelkova trees are truly unattractive. Most of the other plants in pots and along the street are simply unimaginative. One question that comes to mind is if you are going to spend more than $16 million for a finely designed street, why not take advantage to provide beautiful, even spectacular landscaping, which could be one of the least expensive and potentially eye-catching parts of the whole project? Besides, California weather is outstanding and permits an extraordinary variety of beautiful and colorful vegetation. I agree it will be much better to correct this mistake now than later as eyesores do not easily go away.
Secondly, it is sad to see the lack of cleanliness of the avenue even in its pre-inaugural stage. Unfortunately, the light coloring of the tiles makes the grime, coffee splashes, cigarette butts, skid marks and occasional graffiti even more apparent. It is not clear who is in charge of keeping Burlingame Avenue clean. If it is the shopkeepers, then the city needs to start asking for compliance. If the city is going to be responsible then there needs to be some appropriate planning, rule setting, enforcement and accountability. And we should not forget that it behooves all the citizens to be a bit more careful and considerate in keeping what we are all paying for in an attractive condition.
Andrew Wallace, Burlingame
If memory serves, ginkos will be the other tree variety planted and we know they are colorful in the Fall. I think the hanging planters and such will also add some of the splash of color Mr. Wallace seeks. One thing to keep in mind is the merchants' main interest was ensuring their signage was not too obstructed by trees hence the taller, thinner selections. Nice to see people care!