D.C. Tests Tree-Friendly Sidewalks Made of Recycled Tires

By Elizabeth Williamson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Washington, DC (July 2, 2006)- The city has a new bounce in its step. A small boy in big white Nikes hustled down Rhode Island Avenue heading for the bus stop when, boing. He stopped, looked down at the pavement, and took a few hops.

Rubber sidewalks- good for the trees, easier on the knees, no cracks to break your mother’s back. In one of the biggest tests in the nation, the District recently installed several blocks’ worth of rubber sidewalks in Northeast. The cost was $60,000, roughly three times more than if it had been concrete.
Around tree roots, the walkways are said to last about 14 years- nearly three times longer than concrete ones- and are favored by city bureaucrats who last year took 2,600 complaints about broken concrete, got slapped with three lawsuits from people who fell on sidewalks and replaced hundreds of trees. Next year, if all weathers well, there may be a springy surprise in store for even more of Washington.
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