The Good Kind of Holes in the Street

The Daily Journal of Commerce reports on a pilot of porous street paving treatments in Salem.

I wonder if we spent the price of the Big Pipe on this, if we would have needed the pipe?

5 responses to “The Good Kind of Holes in the Street”

  1. The biggest problem “functionally” with automobiles is the cost and problems of pollution and space that is consumed for the auto infrastructure. This is one step toward fixing that problem. The surrounding area of places with porous streets, good tree cover, is almost to the point of eliminating the negatives of paving.

    Now if only cars can get cleaned up we’ll be set.

    … except for the fact that roads and cars take up INSANE AMOUNTS OF SPACE that decreases the amount of living space (even in the burbs). I find this insane that people trade space as they do for an automobile. I’d rather live in a smaller place and not dedicate entire parts of my house for an automobile, it makes for a very unsightly mess (and decreased value).

  2. Chris Smith said:
    I wonder if we spent the price of the Big Pipe on this, if we would have needed the pipe?

    Portland currently has two pilot projects for pervious pavement (see link below). The cost is roughly $100,000 per block, with an effective removal rate for stormwater of ~35% in wet weather events. I’m not sure how many paved city blocks there are (and keep in mind, these are narrow streets that aren’t even fully pervious). Assuming the cost of the pilot projects remains constant (probably would decrease with economies of scale), the City could do 14,000 blocks of pervious pavement for the cost of the Big Pipe. How many blocks are in city limits?

  3. The Big Pipe is designed to eliminate 94% of CSOs. Widespread and appropriately targeted use of pervious pavement (among other technologies) probably can help chip away at the remaining 6%.

  4. I could be wrong, but isn’t road runoff rather polluted? I see a decent amount of stuff left behind in parking lots. However, I can see runoff from lesser-used side streets not needing treatment as much.

  5. The porous pavement that I’m heard about gums up if the runoff is too polluted. I’ve heard that it can be cleaned back out, but I don’t know exactly how that works. The other problem is weight. If you drive heavy trucks over it regularly, (and no, I don’t know exactly what regularly is. Is a moving van a couple times a year bad?) it compacts, and stops working. We were looking at putting it on our parking lot at work, but a few semi trucks a day is definitely too much truck traffic…

    I went and looked at N Gay Ave this morning. It looks and feels like pavement, the only thing that is visibly special about it is that it is a gray, (compared to the normal black of regular new pavement,) so it just looks like it is older pavement that is in really good shape. That section of that street is a fairly wide street that doesn’t go anywhere, so it seems like the perfect place to try it. (If you look at Google maps, they were apparently installing it the day they took the photo.) If you are the kind of person that goes and looks at these sorts of things, you should also note that on the corner of Denver and Willamette, they were planting a large swale this morning. (The ones near my house are quite a bit smaller than that one.)

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