From a press release. This is not a direct bike benefit, but it will probably be easier to get bike lanes onto a green street.
At its February meeting, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) adopted a Green Streets Policy for the National Capital Region, which encourages local jurisdictions to improve environmental quality in a cost-effective manner using a host of road improvements. Adding green features like rain gardens to the medians and sides of streets along with planting trees and introducing permeable pavement reduces the harmful effects of wastewater. These features can capture pollutants, from chemicals to silt to bacteria, before they enter sewers or degrade natural waterways like the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, and eventually, the Chesapeake Bay.
These trees and plants cool and beautify the street, encouraging walking and bicycling. In addition to making the roads more pleasant, green streets tools can be a more cost-effective way to capture wastewater than traditional sewer upgrades.
Jurisdictions in the Washington area have already begun to incorporate green streets elements. Prince George’s County, Maryland requires many road, sidewalk, trail and transit related construction projects to include environmental site design and the District of Columbia’s Green Streets Policy establishes waste water retention of up to 100 percent of storm water under its new regulations, established in 2013. Alexandria City Councilman and TPB Vice-Chair, Tim Lovain, is exploring a green streets initiative for his jurisdiction which would include permeable pavement and rain gardens.
TPB began studying the creation of a regional Green Streets policy in December 2012 in response to a request from the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership. The work follows the TPB’s approval in May 2012 of a regional Complete Streets Policyencouraging local jurisdictions to promote the safe accommodation of multiple transportation modes when designing new roadways and making major improvements to existing ones.
Click here for the most a presentation on the Green Streets Policy.