SILVER SPRING, MD – A “complete street” provides safe areas for cyclists and pedestrians, environmental features to diminish the harmful effects of stormwater runoff and a welcoming appearance. Oh yes, and it provides lanes for vehicles.
On Friday, staff from the Planning Department will host an outdoor display in downtown Silver Spring depicting a complete street as part of international Parking Day. The annual event invites people to transform parking spots into informational displays or temporary parks. Begun six years ago by a California design firm, Parking Day has grown to include hundreds of participants in cities around the world showing alternatives to cars and asphalt.
The Planning Department’s complete streets display will go the heart of the intent of Parking Day – to rethink the way streets are used and reinforce the need to improve urban areas. The display will transform a parking space using a three-dimensional version of a streetscape with pedestrian- and bike-friendly elements as well as stormwater management techniques that reduce pollution.
Planners and urban designers are recommending the complete streets concept to improve Montgomery County’s aging corridors. Environmental tools like stormwater infiltration trenches lined with plants filter runoff that flows from impervious surfaces into streams and rivers. Pedestrian- and bike-friendly features can improve the street’s use for all people, not just motorists.
The Planning Department will be joined in neighboring parking spaces on Ellsworth Avenue by local businesses Pyramid Atlantic, the Green Commuter, and Growing Soul, which will offer art activities and demonstrations of the latest urban-designed bicycles and filtering used vegetable oil for diesel engines. The Congress for New Urbanism-DC will display a beach and a county planner will showcase an artistic view of a park constructed of tissue paper.
Montgomery County Planning Department
Complete Streets display for international Parking Day
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, September 16
Ellsworth Drive between Fenton and Cedar Streets, Silver Spring
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SILVER SPRING, MD – A state stormwater management expert will join the Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday, February 19 to discuss new strategies to reduce stormwater runoff and water pollution.
Ken Pensyl, administrator of the Sediment, Stormwater, and Dam Safety Program at the Maryland Department of the Environment, will discuss stormwater management trends that foster a new way of thinking about how to improve water quality. Pensyl is the second of a series of speakers who will address the board this year as part of the Growing Smarter Speaker Series.
With presentations to be scheduled roughly once a month, the series provides an opportunity for the board, planners and the general public to hear from experts on thought-provoking sustainable growth topics as the board tackles the next iteration of the county Growth Policy.
Pensyl will describe how developers and landowners can handle stormwater to create better results for the environment and the people who live and work there. Among the strategies Pensyl will outline are creating well-thought-out site designs, and considering the design and placement of buildings, parking areas, roads and other best management practices. Moreover, developers may consider vegetative rooftops and rain gardens – all strategies that can be combined to reduce and treat stormwater runoff at the source.
Pensyl also will provide an update on the state’s draft Environment Site Design regulations that will require such strategies.
In his role as a stormwater administrator, Pensyl oversees a variety of programs including those that focus on slowing, infiltrating, and treating stormwater discharge to help protect surface waters from pollutants and recharge groundwater. Among his duties is managing the state program that issues municipal permits for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.
Continuing education credits are pending for AICP members.
Learn more about the speaker series.
Montgomery County Planning Board
Growing Smarter Speaker Series
7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 19
Park and Planning Headquarters auditorium
8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring
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