The streetscapes of D.C. could bring beauty and benefits to our neighborhoods if only their potential was realized. The Planning & Design department looks at some of the rough patches and then demonstrates “What It Could Be” if it incorporated bioretention that promoted the growth of large shade trees. The most recent stretch of street to get a digital makeover is 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE.
The drawings shows two different streetscapes, the current one on above and the imagined one below. Notice the before design constrains roots whereas the after design gives larger trees more space for their roots, in turn preserving the sidewalk, encouraging growth and making streets biodiverse.
The extra soil space allows for stormwater capture, which removes pollution and helps prevent dirty water from entering our waterways. In many street boxes in the District, like those in the photograph on the left, additional vegetation impedes on a tree’s root growth and sends polluted water to the river through the sewer system.