Green Parking Lots

in Green Projects

“Green” Parking Lots Kick-Off Innovative Approach to Managing Stormwater Pollution

The 2010 season marked a very productive year for Onondaga County’s Save the Rain Program. Save the Rain is the County Executive’s extensive program to implement green infrastructure throughout the city of Syracuse to capture stormwater runoff where it lands. Green infrastructure uses natural systems to capture stormwater and prevent runoff. The use of systems like tree trenches, rain gardens, green roofs, rain barrels and porous pavement catch and absorb stormwater, preventing it from flowing into sewer systems. This reduction on volume can help mitigate the amount of untreated water that makes it way to Onondaga Lake and its tributaries.

One of the main program elements for the plan is the re-development of priority parking lots throughout the City.  Parking lots present tremendous opportunities to remove large surface area runoff into the local sewer system. The County completed “green” renovations at four parking lots in 2010 including:

City Lot #21 (formerly known as the Downtown Farmer’s Market)In June, the County in collaboration with the City of Syracuse, completed construction on the re-development of City Lot #21 (formerly the Downtown Farmer’s Market) located at the corner of West Washington and South Clinton street. The entire parking lot received a face-lift with new “green” features in the center island including porous pavers, subsurface storage and the addition of six native shade trees. This project is estimated to provide 450,000 gallons of stormwater capture annually.

Pearl Street (across from Freedom of Espresso)
In September, the County completed renovation to the Pearl Street Parking Lot (intersection of Pearl Street and Belden Ave). The project included the construction of porous asphalt pavement over the majority of the lot with a 25,000 sq. feet infiltration bed of underground storage to capture stormwater runoff. The project also included re-construction work in the road to capture stormwater from Belden Ave., Pearl Street (the street itself) and the I-81 onramp. The property also received tree and shrub plantings along the perimeter. In total, the project will capture an estimated 1.3 million gallons of annual rainfall.

City Lot #3 (Erie Blvd. at Hanover Square)
In October the County completed renovations to City Lot #3 (located at the intersection of Erie Boulevard and North Warren Street). The project included regarding and resurfacing of the lot with a porous concrete application to the parking lanes and an infiltration bed with 9,000 feet of underground storage. The project also included the planting of 26 trees with full-tree box trenches and structural soil. City Lot #3 also included landscaping features along the perimeter of the property. The project is estimated to capture 880,000 gallons of rainfall annually.

County Townsend parking Lot B (located at 431 Harrison Street)
In November, the County completed renovation to the Townsend Street Parking Lot. (located on Townsend Street between Harrison & E. Genesee Streets). The project included resurfacing of the lot with traditional asphalt and the planting of 79 native species trees with enhanced trench capability. The lot was developed with roughly 3,800 sq. feet of bio-retention space to capture rain water from the roughly 54,000 sq ft. lot. The estimated volume capture for this project is 950,000 gallons annually. The lot will have some follow-up work in the spring including: enhanced shrub and bush plantings, asphalt concrete top course application and addition of wheel stops to parking stalls.

The parking lot projects also underscore an impressive collaboration between the County and the City of Syracuse. Officials from both Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse identified several potential redevelopment candidates and worked diligently to complete the projects in 2010.

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