Many communities across Maryland do not think of sustainable improvements when it comes time to make road improvements. But the town of Edmonston saw the road’s expiration date as a time to put a new lease on the roadways. Leading by example, the town created an innovative green street that creates environmental and transportations improvements and alternatives that countless individuals will benefit from.
Many of these features include:
- Wind powered LED street lights;
- Native trees and tree wells to reduce heat island effect and provide shade;
- Street “bump-outs” to slow traffic and shorten pedestrian crossings;
- Bio-retention cells in the “bump-outs” to treat stormwater runoff on site;
- Light colored paint on lanes to reduce heat island.
These simple features, when incorporated into street improvements, can reduce the burden on many stormwater systems, such as Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO). in many local communities. This aids the overall health of not only local streams, such as the Paint Branch, but also the Patuxent River, which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay.
Improvements like this, when incorporated into the planning stages of a streetscape design, can cost the same as standard road construction. All it takes is forward planning, and the insight of communities such as Edmonston, Maryland to create viable streetscapes that accommodate pedestrians, while improving sustainability.