thanks to commenter RobA, we learn that the trees that i wrote about here have won something of a repreive. eleanor holmes norton convinced the architect of the capitol to do all that they can to avoid killing the trees while placing security bollards along that street.
bravo, i say! though i question whether the trees will actually survive, it's wonderful to see that it's still possible for some people to sit down, reason, and reach a compromise, instead of blindly following regulations like "we need to have x number of bollards spaced x number of feet apart, everything else be damned!"
here's a quote from the congresswoman:
I admit that I wanted to hug these graceful trees. If the trees do not survive the bollards, there will be time enough to take them down. These trees may die in time, but so do people, and we don't kill them without exhausting all possibilities for life.