You know all those notices that have been plastic-wrapped to trees all over town informing adjacent homeowners that responsibility for the maintenance of street trees next to their property is being transferred to them? Well, the Department of Public Works is embarrassed they even had to do that, and Supervisor Scott Wiener is trying to establish a fund that would put responsibility back in DPW's hands, as the Chron reports.
Wiener announced the Urban Forestry Fund today, and the move comes in response to the multiple incidents last week where aging ficus trees blew over around town, including one incident that injured a pedestrian at 23rd and Potrero.
Says Wiener, even though he's not entirely sure where the money will come from, it's important that the city figure out this problem. "Trees don’t compete well in the budget against public safety, public health and other important needs and I have come to the conclusion that we need lock-box, dedicated funding.”
One idea is to assess property owners between $45 and $85 a year via a parcel tax. But the money might also be taken from the General Fund.
In total, there are some 105,000 street trees in San Francisco, and they're valued at $1.7 billion.