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Streetscape plan good, visionary goal for future

Fifteen years ago when visitors turned off I-55 on to BrookwayBoulevard, they were greeted with a beautifully-landscaped entranceto Brookhaven.

Fifteen years ago when visitors turned off I-55 on to BrookwayBoulevard, they were greeted with a beautifully-landscaped entranceto Brookhaven. The boulevard was divided by a curbed median withflower beds and well-manicured grass that broke up the double lanesof dirty, grimy asphalt.

As commercial activity grew on the boulevard, so did the trafficand congestion. In response — and with little forethought orpublic input — the city in 1985 bulldozed the boulevard medians,giving us what we have today: five lanes of dirty, grimy pavementthat is still a traffic nightmare.

A move is now afoot to bring back some of the aesthetic beautyto Brookway Boulevard by again planting trees and adding a designelement that brings back the warm, homey feeling we once gave ourvisitors.

Called the Streetscape plan, it is an ambitious landscapingproject with a price tag of over $1.5 million. Supporters arehoping that government grants and in-kind labor will cover a largeportion of the cost, but the rest will have to come from privateand business donations.

Today, when one drives along the tree-lined streets ofBrookhaven such as South Jackson, Church Street or Storm Avenue, weenjoy the beauty of the large oak trees that provide a cover. Thosetrees do not just happen to be there, it took the vision andinterest by residents back at the turn of the century to plant thetrees we enjoy today.

The Streetscape plan is the same type of visionary project thatone day will be enjoyed by all, but will take effort today to allowit to become a reality.