First Curb-to-Curb Permeable Street in Bay Area Outperforms Expectations
Below are excerpts from an article in Interlock Design Magazine and written by Brad Causey.
(originally published in Interlock Design Spring 2016 issue)
Facing an aging infrastructure as are many cities today, the City of Berkeley sought a durable alternative to its existing asphalt road surfaces in need of replacement. Situated on a hill that slopes down to San Francisco Bay, mitigating stormwater runoff also ranked highly among its priorities. After extensive research on constructing a green roadway they decided on using a permeable paver system and chose European Paving Designs to install it.
In the year since the Allston Way project’s completion, it has been routinely and closely monitored. “The system has exceeded expectations with regard to stormwater management,”said Mr. Irby. “The infiltration rate that we’re seeing is better than we had estimated.” He added, “We haven’t published the data yet, but what we’ve gathered to date does show that the pollutant levels have been reduced.”
“There was a lot of concern about the roughness of the surface from the cycling community, but I haven’t heard a word from them since it was installed,” said Mr. Irby. “And we see hundreds of bikes on the street every day, and skateboarders too. It’s an incredibly smooth surface.” That smooth surface is due to EPD’s expert installation of the ADA-compliant pavers specified, which feature a quarter-inch joint and interlocking spacer bars. In fact, the permeable paver surface is likely safer for cyclists to traverse in wet conditions because it prevents standing water from collecting of the pavement surface. “The coefficient of friction for a permeable paver surface is better than most asphalt roads,”Mr. Irby explained.“There are lots of benefits that people aren’t really aware of.”
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