May 19, 2015

Green Bike Lanes, haste on a budget

Our 14 endangered Møllegade trees, are just a small part of a much larger problem: Right now, the city is paving bike lanes through recreative areas all over the city. As the Møllegade case exemplifies, it’s happening with zero respect for our sparse urban nature. Simple as that.

By Kildevældsparken on the outer part of Østerbro, permission is sought to remove an entire lane of old trees, to widen the bike lane. Rigid directives for the width of a “super” bike lane are winning over our urban nature. On top of that, the budgets aren’t accomodating the preservation of existing trees, at all. Whatever the public may wish for, it’s cheaper and easier (short term) to chop the trees down, and "replace" them with saplings. 

The city is following this site, but it’s as though they’re not getting the message. They invite us to a meeting, under the device of “possible preservation of trees”, only to emphasize that everything is set in stone. We have still not seen the report that condemns all trees as sick, used to shut down the advisory board’s wish for a green plan. At the meeting we learned that there *were*, in fact, trees marked for preservation, namely the ones we, the Local Environmental Council (Miljøpunkt Nørrebro) and the Local Council of Nørrebro (Lokaludvalg Nørrebro) are fighting for: the three ash trees doomed to be replaced by a shed, and the big corner ash.

We were told that we are welcome to try to fundraise the million crowns it will take to save the four trees ourselves, but at the same time that the proposal is final. No delays will be tolerated. For the citizens however, it’s more important that this is done right, rather than fast. And, if the budget has been unrealistically small from the beginning, the city council should admit its mistake and make amends, before it gets worse. Trees are more important than deadlines.  

More on our fight for the Møllegade trees:

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