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Environmental Sciences | Creating Green Roadways - Integrating Cultural, Natural, and Visual Resources into Transportation

Creating Green Roadways

Integrating Cultural, Natural, and Visual Resources into Transportation

Sipes, James L., Sipes, Matthew L

2013, XIII, 281 p. 52 illus.


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  • The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that we need to invest $2.2 trillion in federal, state, and local funds over the next five years to meet transportation requirements across the nation; this book fills an important gap in the extent literature for planners and designers who need to respond to that need
  • Abundant case studies and illustrations guide the reader through planning a wide range of projects and the challenges they are likely to face
  • James Sipes is a noted landscape architect, environmental planner, and writer with more than twenty-five years of professional experience encompassing a wide range of planning, design, research, and communication projects

Roads and parking lots in the United States cover more ground than the entire state of Georgia. And while proponents of sustainable transit often focus on getting people off the roads, they will remain at the heart of our transportation systems for the foreseeable future. In Creating Green Roadways, James and Matthew Sipes demonstrate that roads don’t have to be the enemy of sustainability: they can be designed to minimally impact the environment while improving quality of life.

The authors examine traditional, utilitarian methods of transportation planning that have resulted in a host of negative impacts: from urban sprawl and congestion to loss of community identity and excess air and water pollution. They offer a better approach—one that blends form and function. Creating Green Roadways covers topics including transportation policy, the basics of green road design, including an examination of complete streets, public involvement, road ecology, and the economics of sustainable roads. Case studies from metropolitan, suburban, and rural transportation projects around the country, along with numerous photographs, illustrate what makes a project successful.

The need for this information has never been greater, as more than thirty percent of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, more than a quarter of the nation’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and congestion in communities of all sizes has never been worse. Creating Green Roadways offers a practical strategy for rethinking how we design, plan, and maintain our transportation infrastructure.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Infrastructure - Roads - Sustainability - Transportation - Urban design

Related subjects » Environmental Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - Population Studies

Table of contents 


Chapter 1. Introduction

Why We Need Green Roadways

The Expansion of Our Highway Infrastructure

The Problem

Green Roadways and Quality of Life

Overview of the Book

Chapter 2. Transportation Policies

Federal Policies and Procedures

Federal Acts and Regulations


State and Local Policies and Procedures

Chapter 3. Basic Roadway Design

Road Types

Access Control

Types of Transportation Projects

Sources of Basic Transportation Standards

Impact of Design Speeds and Level of Service on Roadway Design

Importance of Safety

Design Exceptions


Greening Roadway Components

Pedestrian Facilities



Chapter 4. Design and Planning Process for Green Roadways

Overview of the Process of Planning and Designing a Green Road

Environmental Considerations in Planning

Transportation Planning

Rethinking Roads: Context-Sensitive Design/Context-Sensitive Solutions

Planning to Reduce Risks Associated with Green Roadways

Land Use Planning, Smart Growth, Complete Streets, and Transportation Infrastructure

Road Diets

Transit-Oriented Development and Highway Interchange Transit-Oriented Development

Highway Corridor Overlay District

Value Engineering

Transportation Challenges

Problems with Current Mass Transit

Rising Interest

Chapter 5. Public Involvement Process

Public Involvement Begins at the Beginning

Public Involvement Plan

Social Media and Public Involvement


Partnership Opportunities for Green Roadways

Case Study—Public Participation

• Vancouver Land Bridge, Vancouver, Washington

Chapter 6. Green Roadways in Urban Areas

Deemphasizing Roads

Retrofitting Existing Streets

New Transportation Projects

Urban Case Studies

• Mexicantown Bagley Avenue Pedestrian Bridge and Plaza, Detroit, Michigan

• Boston’s Big Dig

Portland’s Green Streets Program

Multifunction Roundabout, Normal, Illinois

• Delaware Avenue Expansion, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

• T-REX Light-Rail Pedestrian Bridge, Denver, Colorado


Chapter 7. Green Roadways in Rural and Suburban Areas

Rural Transportation

Types of Rural Development

The Suburbs

Livable, Walkable Communities

Suburban and Rural Case Studies

• The Rain Gardens of Maplewood, Minnesota

• State Route 17 in Horseheads, New York

• High Point Redevelopment, Seattle, Washington

Chapter 8. Cultural/Historic/Visual Resources

Cultural and Historic Resources


Visual Resources

Approaches for Addressing Visual Resources

Design Approaches

Road Layout


Scenic Byways

Case Studies—Cultural/Historic/Visual Resources in Transportation

• I-70 Glenwood Canyon and Snowmass Canyon, Colorado

• Paris Pike, Kentucky

• Old Florida Heritage Highway, Florida

• Merritt Parkway, Connecticut

• Nevada Landscape and Aesthetics Master Plan

• Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

• Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, Tennessee

• Creative Corridors, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Chapter 9. Natural Resources/Environmental Sustainability

Wildlife Habitat

Road Ecology

Wildlife Crossings

Habitat Alterations

Planning for Climate Change

Open Space Opportunities

Protecting Open Space

Water Resources

Air Quality

Energy Conservation

Generating Energy

Case Studies—Integrating Natural Resources and Green Roads

• Corridor K, Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee

• US Highway 93, Montana

• Alligator Alley, Florida

• Mountains to Sound Greenway, Washington

• Yellowstone National Park’s East Entrance Road

• ARC International Design Competition for Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure, Vail Pass, Colorado

Chapter 10. Constructing Green Roadways

Green Construction Practices

Green Construction Materials


Case Studies—Green Construction

• New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia

• Meador Kansas Ellis Trail, Washington State

• US 97 Lava Butte-South Century Drive, Oregon

Chapter 11. Economics of Green Roadways

Funding Road Infrastructure

Funding Green Roadways

Increasing Efficiency

Maintenance and Life-Cycle Costs

Case Studies—Economics of Green Roadways

• Atlanta BeltLine, Georgia

• Greater East End Livable Centers, Houston, Texas

Chapter 12. Next Steps in Creating Green Roadways

Planning for Green Roadways

Changing the Emphasis of Transportation Funding

Measuring Success for Green Roadways

Sustainable Highways

Measuring Success for Green Roadways

U.S. Case Studies—Next Steps

• Manchaca Greenway, Austin, Texas

• Oregon Solar Highway

• Houston Low Impact Development–Independence Parkway, Texas

International Case Studies

• Henderson Waves Bridge, Singapore

• Clem Jones Tunnel, Brisbane, Australia

• Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza, Spain

• Atlantic Road Bridge, Norway

• City of Saskatoon (Canada) Green Streets Program


Appendix 1: Resource Characteristics

Selected Resources


Popular Content within this publication 



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