Concrete trees, sort of

Karlsruhe, Germany:  a main highway swiftly changes from rural surroundings to the denser urban environment as it enters a city. To help slow traffic, local planners bring tree planting right close to the curbs on both sides of the street. The tree canopy closes in overhead, making the roadway look and feel less open. Traffic speeds slow.

Down the centre median, trees are also planted to complete the canopy. Between the trees are the standard concrete light posts for the overhead highway lighting. These have been “greened”, quite effectively creating additional “trees” down the boulevard.

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It was surprisingly effective. And cozy. And totally alien to our road rules which specifically prohibit anything that closes in over the top of the road as it might “distract” the driver [from their high speed ….].

Karlsruhe appeared to have a milder climate than Ottawa, so the ivy might not thrive on our utility posts. But other than the odd occasion when a wooden utility pole gets draped in an ambitious Virginia Creeper vine (and there is a marvellous example of this  on Lisgar near Lyon here in Ottawa) we seem to like our posts “naked”.

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I definitely prefer posts wrapped in greenery.