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Designing Net Zero Streets


Net Zero Streets are rights-of-way that are planned, designed, constructed, and maintained in a way that attempts to produce net zero carbon emissions. Streets, over time, should give back more than they take from the environment.

What goes into creating a Net Zero Street?

  • Planning – should be addressed regionally and through entire corridors – not by individual projects
  • Multimodal – automobiles, transit, bicycles, pedestrians
  • Road Diets – reduce lanes, lane width, parking, and pavement; one-way streets to 2-way streets
  • Materials – porous paving, cement, building materials
  • Natural Infrastructure – include vegetation, both on site and surrounding area
  • Parks – nearby open green space may assist in reducing carbon emissions in nearby rights-of-way
  • Stormwater management – helps with resiliency; use more vegetation
  • Land Use – manage land by using less.
  • Renewable Energy – use wind and/or solar for any needed energy in rights-of-way
  • Site Management – use materials and vegetation that require little to no maintenance

How can we work toward carbon neutral transportation rights-of-way? Can we get to Net Zero Streets by 2030?

Researcher needs to develop metrics, research, models, and pilot projects, to achieve best results.

Provide federal funding to transportation research institutions to provide research, establish models and pilot projects to determine what is need to achieve net zero carbon rights-of-way. University Transportation Centers and/or the Transportation Research Board could be research entities to tackle this issue.


Sequester Carbon

Sponsoring Committee:AFB40, Landscape and Environmental Design
Research Period:24 - 36 months
Research Priority:Medium
RNS Developer:Keith Robinson
Date Posted:01/15/2019
Date Modified:02/08/2019
Index Terms:Carbon, Environmental protection, Streets, Highway design,
Cosponsoring Committees: 

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