Kirby Casualty Forecast: 161 Street Trees, 1 Realtor

Green Ribbons on Kirby Dr. Trees

A real estate agent writes in to report that the grand compromise to save all those Live Oaks lining Kirby Dr. between Richmond and Westheimer isn’t going to save anything:

Despite a compromise that reclaimed 7 feet of paved width from a plan to revamp Kirby Drive, it now appears that all of the trees between Richmond Avenue and Westheimer Road will be lost to construction.

Houston foresters told a group of about 30 residents Thursday that after walking the site Dec. 7, it was determined that even with a roadway that is 73 feet across, the majority of trees will be unable to survive.

City Forester Victor Cordova said only eight trees within the area have a “realistic chance” of surviving, and that is because they are relatively small rather than in a viable location. He called moving those trees “a very expensive venture.”

Our agent-informant is aghast, and tells us that either the trees stay or she leaves Houston. That sounds kinda drastic, and doesn’t give much credit to the real improvements to Houston’s quality of life the Kirby Dr. reconstruction will likely achieve:

The City insists that the street be widened not to increase capacity but to increase the lane widths. A Public Works engineer told me recently that drivers of Hummers and some large SUVs find the current Kirby lane width “uncomfortable.”