The District government is preparing for new 5th Generation (5G) infrastructure. With this infrastructure, D.C. is hoping to provide more reliable wireless telecommunications to our communities. The equipment that will provide these services, called small cells, will be installed in the public right-of-way on new or existing street poles. As a clear line of sight is required between small cells for clear transmissions, this new infrastructure could have long-lasting impacts on our city’s street trees and trees located on adjacent private lots.
To minimize impact to public space, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) released Draft Small Cell Design Guidelines
. Though these guidelines state that small cells will not require “the removal of an existing street tree or prevent the planting of a street tree in the future,” trees may need to be heavily pruned to accommodate sightlines.
This pruning could result in poor street tree health, and significant canopy loss.
The DC Council is accepting public comments on the Small Cell Design Guidelines until December 3, 2018.
We invite you to request that the city complete a full assessment of the potential impacts these cells may have on D.C.’s trees. D.C.’s trees need your voice on this potentially drastic change to our city’s streetscape.