Green Streets are an alternative to conventional street drainage systems. A Green Street uses trees, landscaping, and related environmental site design features to capture and filter stormwater runoff within the right-of-way, while cooling and enhancing the appearance of the street.
The Transportation Planning Board (TPB) began developing a regional Green Streets policy in 2012 when the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership recommended that it adopt a policy, parallel to the regional Complete Streets policy. COG environmental staff developed a Green Streets policy inventory to gauge the current status of policies and programs in the region, and the TPB sponsored workshops on the challenges, opportunities, and best practices related to Green Streets. The TPB approved a regional policy in 2014 encouraging local jurisdictions to adopt Green Streets policies, or to revise existing ones, to include key best practices that the TPB and its stakeholders have agreed are essential elements. Those best practices are outlined in the policy, as is a resource guide including policies, guidebooks, standards, and manuals from other agencies and organizations around the country. In the region, many jurisdictions already have Green Streets policies in place.