August 19 2011

The New Green Streets of Edmonston, Maryland: A Local Initiative

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.

 The new roadway will include contemporary features that are prescribed in countless designs of Landscape Architects, and Planners for city design and improvements.

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.

Paul Drummond

Paul Drummond is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture. Paul received the A.S.L.A Student Honor Award and has worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Maryland, along with shoreline restoration companies along the Chesapeake Bay. A native of Maryland and having lived on both sides of the state, Paul draws inspiration and ecological awareness from the entire state, ranging from the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland, to the estuaries, marshes, and agrarian landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 19th, 2011 at 7:40 am and is filed under Architecture, Environmental Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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