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LETTERS: Residents question chopping down trees for 6th St. plans

Several residents have written letters to the editor expressing their opposition to a plan to cut down mature trees on 6th Street to make way for sidewalks and bike lanes
Sixth Street looking east from Birch Street toward Hurontario. This is part of the town's plan for reconstruction of Sixth Street between High and Hurontario Streets.

CollingwoodToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via the website. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letters were sent in response to the Town of Collingwood's plans for the reconstruction of Sixth Street. 

We have lived on Sixth Street, a primarily residential Street for over 30 years. 

With the amount of traffic now using Sixth Street it's getting overused.

We have fire engines, school buses, the Mountain bus, a line-up of cars in the morning and afternoon driving children to school and picking them up. We also have a lot of the cars etc. from the subdivisions driving through Sixth on their way to other destinations.

We also see a lot of E-bikes that travel the street and the odd bicycle which has become a steady parade of going up and down the street on the sidewalks and some still on the roads. We hear nothing but traffic all day and into the evening and also have to clean up garbage tossed onto our and others' property.

The trees have always been a comfort, and were and are planted to enhance our home, give us shade and make our properties look nice.

When raising our daughter, she learned to ride her three wheel bike on the sidewalk, which was safe.

The idea of moving trees and replanting them will be expensive and cause many problems for both homeowners and the people transplanting them.

At the present time, it takes homeowners a lot more time to get out of their driveways to get on to Sixth Street to travel anywhere.

The only thing needed on Sixth is a new road paving ... not bike lanes you can't walk on unless you have eyes in the back of your head.

We've attended the meeting in the Spring, we're now writing notes and most of us agree ... find another street, one with less traffic.

With the plan you've laid out, there will be major accidents involving all of us ... there isn't enough room to add more to Sixth Street !

William Bos


When I read that council had voted unanimously in favour of removing the 36 trees along Sixth Street to make room for bicycle lanes etc., I was surprised that cyclists won over trees.

So I drove along Sixth Street from High Street to see what 36 trees looked like, and the closer I got to Oak Street, the more concerned I became.

We need more trees not fewer. Cyclists can use Fifth Street if Sixth Street is too busy for them.

Terese Connolly


Can’t we see that moving to 30-km/hour speed limits will make finding the solution so much easier.

Forget the cars and think of the people.

It’s hard to make the shift in thinking.

John Housser


"Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky." - Kahlil Gibran

I was shocked to read that Collingwood council voted this week in favour (reluctantly?) of uprooting 36 beautiful, healthy, mature trees on Sixth Street to accommodate reconstruction plans for a bike lane.

Did I hear correctly? Reconstruct Sixth Street? Rip up heritage trees for the sake of a paved bike lane? 

Trees are our greatest ally for climate change. Any primary school kid could tell you that.

Trees purify the air. They give us fresh oxygen. They provide habitats. Our precious resources offer shade.

They are the lungs of the earth… as well as the very heart and soul of Sixth Street. If we don’t value and protect our trees now, we will soon live in a world that will not sustain us.

There is no justifiable reason to destroy nature at its best.

Planting saplings is a laughable solution.

Surely there are other viable locations and alternatives to this bike lane quandary.

I implore council to reconsider its decision to move forward with such an environmentally irresponsible proposal. Please don’t erase our poems.

To paraphrase Ghandi, what we are doing to the forests of the world is a reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another. 

Jude Wayland


I don't understand the need to promote cars and bikes on Sixth Street.

Fifth Street would make a much better bike route. You would need a pedestrian crossing at Fifth and High and signage promoting Fifth but otherwise not much else would need to change. 

Robert Potter


Of all of the odd decisions made by Collingwood Council regarding our now decimated Street Trees downtown, this is one of the worst so far.

I drove down Sixth Street yesterday to have a look at both the trees and the current bike lanes.

I did not see a single bike rider that day. I have rarely seen bike riders there.

The trees are healthy and mature, offering shade for the sidewalks, and oxygen to breathe.

As a Pine Street resident who walks frequently around the area, I know how valuable the shady sections are to walkers when the sun is shining, or it is lightly raining.

I agree with a previous writer that the butchery by Hydro of many trees downtown, including the horror of Third Street is not necessary.

Many cities have adopted tree planting and pruning policies to successfully address the hydro wire/tree dilemma, none of which include butchering the centre of healthy trees, which promotes premature rot and disease.

Please do not cut down these trees!

Give the proposed bike lane more thought.

Spend the money on putting the hydro lines underground and keep this town beautiful by developing a responsible tree pruning and planting programme. That should be a priority.

Jen Macnaughton, retired landscape architect