Green Street Retrofits in the Northeast: Design and Acceptance Challenges for Stormwater Management Retrofits

While green street retrofits for stormwater management are increasing nationally, especially in Northwest cities such as Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington there are limited examples in urbanized areas in the Northeast. The idea for green street retrofits in the Northeast are typically openly accepted in concept for the many values they provide in addition to stormwater management that often align with other urban revitalization goals such as pedestrian safety, traffic calming and aesthetics, however the concerns relative to their detailed designs and maintenance requirements is often a hurdle. An additional hurdle that is resulting in slow incorporation of this concept in the Northeast is the more familiar struggle of promoting a "new" design concept that does not rely on standardized details with a given track record in the region. Another concern is the winter performance and operation of green street retrofits designed to manage stormwater. The Northeast experiences an ongoing struggle to balance the need for vehicular and human safety with environmental concerns relative to the use of sand and/or salt for deicing. It is necessary in the Northeast to design effectively for the potential sand and salt loads that are used along urban roadways, as well as evaluate how the system will work under winter conditions when snow banks along roadways can be of significant width, height and duration. Further, concerns relative to frozen ground/infiltration media must be considered. This paper discusses two urban case studies in the Northeast: one in a downtown setting and one in a residential setting. Both cases involved the design of a green street technology for stormwater management as a retrofit into existing roadways and required a detailed process for the concept acceptance. The design process had unique challenges including the winter weather operational issues, the hurdles associated with engineering a new design technique, and the process of gaining stakeholder support to accept and further concepts into actual projects.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 628-641
  • Monograph Title: Low Impact Development 2010: Redefining Water in the City

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01530305
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784410998
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jun 24 2014 3:02PM