Green Roads & Complete Streets
The movement to incorporate energy efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable design elements has been gaining momentum in all facets of our lives.
Most recently, these philosophies are being integrated within roadway projects under the mantle of “Green Roads”. In past years, green design for road projects was initially achieved solely through stormwater management techniques. More recently, however, other innovative methods have been introduced – which provide low cost, low maintenance solutions, while achieving the higher degree of environmental stewardship that is considered to be the norm today.
“Green Roads” provides design elements, environmental considerations and innovative materials that planners and engineers can incorporate to achieve a sustainable roadway design that addresses the needs of the community it serves. Some items, like pavement removal and the creation of ESD facilities, are necessary to implement because it allows the jurisdiction to make measureable progress towards mandated TMDL goals. Many of the strategies, while not as measurable, will have a positive effect on an entity’s carbon footprint. With “Green Roads”, we often look to reduce pavement footprints by incorporating “road diets” (eliminating unnecessary travel lanes) along with introducing innovative pavement materials (Warm Mix Asphalt, porous concrete, and pervious asphalt).
“Complete Streets”, by definition, are roadways that are planned and designed for the safe and efficient movement of people using all modes of transportation. Transit users, pedestrians, those with disabilities, and bicyclists are essentially on equal footing with automobiles and commercial vehicles. Complete Streets expands upon traditional Context Sensitive Design principles, where transportation professionals partner with members of the community and other stakeholders to establish the goals and elements of a project or study area. Complete Streets encourages transportation solutions with a focus on promoting walkability, livability, sustainability, and establishing a “sense of place”. There is no “silver bullet” solution that applies for every project. A Complete Street will likely be different in a rural area as opposed to an urban or suburban setting.
Wallace Montgomery has become a recognized leader in the Design of “Green Roads” and “Complete Streets”, having developed standards of practice, delivered projects and performed peer reviews for local agencies.