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Micanopy Residents Oppose Sidewalks to Save Oak Trees

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Micanopy residents opposed a sidewalk proposal on Tuesday after learning that the town’s heritage oak trees might be cut down during construction.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) plans to construct sidewalks on the west and east side of Cholokka Boulevard.

Myrna Widmer, the FDOT project manager, said the department will avoid cutting down any major trees.

“There may be some shrubbery and undergrowth that may get trimmed in the process,” she said, “but the heritage oak trees we’re avoiding, and there’s several ways we can attempt to do that.”

Funded by the Transportation Alternatives Program, the construction will cost about $160,000.

One part of the plan is to connect the existing sidewalk on the west side of Cholokka Boulevard to U.S. 441.

People exit U.S. 441 driving at high speeds, Widmer said. The FDOT wants to provide a safer way for residents to walk around town.

“This is a safety plan to keep [the residents] on sidewalks, so they don’t have to walk out on the roads,” she said.

Some residents felt the plan was a waste of tax revenues and not necessary, said Debbie Gonano, Micanopy Town Administrator.

At the end of the meeting, plans for an additional workshop had been voted on to settle different views of concern.

 

About Emily Buchanan

Emily is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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