A tall birch tree at the Wharf, Humboldt and Government streets intersection came down today in Victoria.
The tree was chopped to make room for the Wharf/Humboldt bike lanes, and to accommodate a new pedestrian scramble intersection.
— Nicole Crescenzi (@NicoleCrescenzi) January 28, 2019
People watched in dismay as saws screeched through the branches shortly after 10 a.m. Monday morning.
”I feel like the heart of city is being cut out,”’ said passerby Verna Stone. “This tree is in a very iconic space, and you know that we can build pedestrian and bike infrastructure without destroying trees, especially mature healthy trees. “
The tree was a subject of a local petition posted at change.org that had over 1,100 people sign to save it, as well as public protests in the form of signs and ornaments on and around the tree.
City of Victoria staff told Black Press that many alternative options had been explored, but that felling the tree was the only viable option to accommodate the necessary underground repairs required for the bike lanes.
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