Greener Streets with Stimulus Money

Right down the road from where I live, the town of Edmonston is getting help in reducing local flooding and pollution with funding from the green reserve portion of the economic stimulus, something that American Rivers helped secure.

Working with our colleagues at the Low Impact Development Center, Edmonston will be retrofitting a street by adding trees, rain gardens and using permeable pavement. Together, these techniques create a “green street” that creates shade, slows traffic and reduces environmental impacts. As reported in the Washington Post today, the project will employ 40 people, and when the work is complete:

“.. Decatur Street will naturally treat more than 90 percent of the pollution from the 40 inches of rainwater that sweeps into the Anacostia each year. ‘We’re a town that’s been beaten up by floods,’ said Adam C. Ortiz, Edmonston’s mayor and the firepower behind the project. ‘We have to make things happen for us instead of making things happen to us.’”

Streets and highways are a major source of polluted stormwater runoff across the country, and projects like these are a smart way to reduce this runoff to protect communities and clean water. One great way to make all streets greener is to require all new roads to be built like this one and to incorporate green principles – already activists and state leaders around the country are asking for these changes.