You see them lined up along streets all over Colorado Springs. They're trees the city plants and maintains. Homeowners aren't allowed to touch them, period.
That's why Lucille Robbins has been frustrated for more than 20 years, seeing the damage the roots of this old elm tree have done not only to the sidewalk, but her own driveway.
Lucille explained, “Nobody drives up my driveway anymore. After you've lost the front end of your car a few times you don't come back for more."
Lucille, who's 99 years old, said she called and complained to the city, but always got the same story.
Lucille said, “It irritates me. I keep saying it’s the tree that's causing the problems in the driveway. Well, we can't touch the driveway."
When 11 Call for Action contacted the city, we learned it wasn't the forestry office we needed, but the concrete desk within the streets division. After a crew came out and took a look at the situation, they went right to work, digging up and replacing part of the sidewalk and a portion of Lucille's damaged driveway, as well as trimming the roots of the elm.
Lucille said, “I was tickled pink when they came up and said they were going to fix my driveway."
I learned this repair job, which cost the city $13,000, was prioritized because the sidewalk was such a hazard and Lucille has mobility issues and could no longer use her driveway.
I was told the city's forestry and street departments will now work harder to better coordinate their efforts in handling problems like Lucille's in the future.
If a Springs city-owned tree is overgrown and needs trimming, call the city’s forestry desk at 719-385-5942. If a Springs city-owned tree has caused sidewalk damage contact the concrete desk at 719-385-5411.