Gaithersburg Green Streets Retrofit Evaluation Project
Biohabitats worked with the City of Gaithersburg to develop a streamlined process for determining the feasibility of green street retrofits at locations throughout the city. The city is interested in expanding its green street program in order to disseminate new stormwater management techniques, comply with new federal and state water quality requirements, and create attractive and sustainable community assets.
The city had previously generated an inventory of 121 potential green street project sites which required additional screening for their feasibility and ability to meet the city’s goals. Biohabitats developed a streamlined process to help the city hone its inventory and identify the most favorable sites for future implementation.
Biohabitats first developed a core set of desktop screening factors that used GIS coverage to assess street characteristics such as slope, available right-of-way width, and parking needs. Other factors, such as the presence or absence of a watershed total maximum daily load (TMDL), were also incorporated. The screening process resulted in a score for each site reflecting its favorability.
The sites with the highest scores were examined during a one-day field assessment to confirm feasibility and to note any factors that were not evident during the desktop assessment. During field review, the team refined the list of potential retrofit sites and considered other innovative practices that could be incorporated at select locations. Biohabitats then developed concept-level designs for the city’s two highest-priority sites, including one in a popular neighborhood park. The summary report outlined the screening process to allow the city to screen additional sites in the future