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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Green Street Facts

What is a green street facility?

  • green street planterA green street facility is a small rain garden that collects stormwater runoff from streets.
  • Green street facilities keep stormwater out of the sewer system and local streams.
  • Green street facilities are important parts of the city’s green infrastructure and help protect and improve the efficiency of the city’s grey, or pipe, infrastructure.
  • Green street facilities help prevent sewer back-ups in basements and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Willamette River.
  • Green street facilities increase urban green space, improve air quality, replenish groundwater, and reduce air temperature.

How does the city choose facility locations?

  • green street curb extensionTo effectively manage stormwater, green street facilities must be located where they will benefit the sewer system. They are typically located close to storm drains.
  • Green street width, length and depth are determined through research and modeling conducted by city staff.
  • Other factors considered are the width of planting strips, the age and size of existing street trees, and parking impacts.

Do green street facilities reduce on-street parking?

  • green street in planting stripGreen street facilities built within the right-of-way, or planting strip, do not remove on-street parking.
  • Green street facilities that are curb extensions do remove parking spaces because they protrude into the street. A curb extension can remove two to three parking spaces, depending on its length.
  • The city works with adjacent property owners to limit impacts while ensuring that green street facilities effectively manage stormwater.
  • Because green street facilities are not as wide as cars, curb extensions give traffic more room to pass than parked cars do. A curb extension’s low-growing vegetation also improves visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

Green street care and maintenance

  • green street managing stormwaterThe city is responsible for maintaining green street facilities. City staff generally conducts seasonal maintenance. The city also welcomes volunteer Green Street Steward partnerships.
  • Maintenance staff leave door hangers for green street neighbors with a description of the work performed and contact information.
  • Maintenance includes removing sediment, leaves or trash that can impede water flow and affect green street performance.
  • Green street facilities should never be used to dispose of trash or animal waste. The city welcomes help from green street neighbors in keeping these materials out of green streets.

Where to report problems

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