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Pike Street: Importance of cherry trees




Re: “Seattle to replace aging cherry trees next to Pike Place Market” [March 10, Local News]:

The revered but aging cherry trees on Pike Street at the entry to the public market will be removed but thankfully replaced with younger cherry trees. Many considered their removal and proposed replacement with elm hybrids a civic and cultural mistake.

Urban design tells us that intersections should be a transition zone. First Avenue and Pike Street is a unique intersection where all traffic stops for pedestrian crossings “scramble.”

Given the scale of the historic Pike Place Market and the fact that this low-rise intersection is considered the market’s entry/plaza, the tree canopy should respond in kind. The cherry trees on Pike Street at First Avenue (east side) provide that needed scale transition and respect for the market entry.

The spring blossoming of cherry trees brings a beautiful reminder to the market that it’s planting time. The connection to these and other cherry trees in the market serves as a remembrance of the Japanese American community’s historical connection with Pike Place Market.

Buster Simpson, Seattle

Clarification: This letter was updated to reflect the latest news on the Pike Street cherry trees.

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