Green Streets for All

What exactly is a “green street?” According to the City of Portland, a leader in green street design and implementation,  a green street is a street that uses vegetated facilities to manage storm-water runoff. Such a system is used to compliment existing sewage systems. In one case, the Glencoe Rain Garden in Portland, Oregon has been able to retain 94% of runoff!

The advantages to such a system include(s):

  • The replenishing of groundwater systems through infiltration
  • The creation of attractive streetscapes that enhance neighborhood livability by: (1) traffic calming (2) creating park like atmosphere (3) creating barrier between sidewalk and street
  • Less  storm-water runoff going to treatment facilities thereby reducing the cost to treat storm-water runoff.

According to US EPA, facilities that filter storm-water through vegetation and soil have been shown to reduce total suspended solids (TSS) by 90%, organic pollutants/oils by 90% and heavy metals by more than 90%.

Types of Green Streets

  • Stormwater Curb Extension
  • Stormwater Street Planter
  • Rain Gardens
  • Simple Green Street

Stormwater Curb Extension

  • transform curb lane into a landscape area
  • creates curb extensions ideal for pedestrian crossings
  • can be used as a tool in traffic calming

Stormwater Street Planter

  • works well in areas of limited space
  • still allow for adjacent street parking or travel
  • creates buffer between pedestrians on sidewalks and automobiles on streets

Rain Gardens

  • Requires larger amount of space, but is considered the ideal storm-water management technique.
  • most adept at turning awkward intersections into safe pedestrian and bicycle crossing facilities.

Simple Green Street

Typical street curb

  • created by excavating an existing planting area behind a reinforced curb.
  • curb cuts are made for inflow and outflow
  • landscaping with appropriate vegetation is added

Simple Green Street

For more information, click the link below.


Leave a comment

Filed under Complete Streets, Green Technology, Portland, Walkability

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s