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 to 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 “trees shall not be removed or have their critical root zones damaged for the installation of Small Cell infrastructure”. However, there is no requirement that new trees must be planted after current ones are removed. Without this requirement, these spaces could become overrun with small cell poles.
The D.C. Public Space Committee
will be holding a meeting on the Small Cell Design Guidelines, and we invite you to submit public comments requesting that they consider not just the protection of current trees, but future ones as well. D.C.’s trees need your voice on this potentially drastic change to our city’s streetscape. Please submit your comments by Friday, March 15 at 5:00 pm.