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In-street water-harvesting traffic-calming image gallery

Utilizing street runoff to grow and enhance life within the street…

Before harvesting water in Tucson, Arizona. White line in street marks boundary of water-harvesting chicane or pull out yet to be constructed.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Construction of water-harvesting chicane or pull out in Dunbar/Spring Neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona. Asphalt has been removed, basin excavated, new concrete curb installed.
By narrowing the street in this manner, cars drive slower and the chicanes protect cars parked along the street curb.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
After installation and planting of water-harvesting chicane. Basin is full of water in a summer storm, reducing downstream flooding, while providing free irrigation water.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Harvesting edible cholla flower buds from cholla cactus growing in the water-harvesting, traffic-calming chicane.
Its all part of our native food plant forestry, replacing asphalt with a native orchard freely irrigated with harvested street runoff.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Native bee pollinating the cholla flower of the cholla cactus growing in the water-harvesting chicane. These native bees often sleep in the flowers which close up a night like a tucked in blanket. Closed flower bud below the open one is a good example of what stage one harvests the flower buds (always leaving plenty for the wildlife and/or other harvesters.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Cholla cactus flower bud pico de gallo salsa. Buds harvested from our in-street water-harvesting chicane or pull out.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Water-harvesting, traffic-calming chicanes bordering speed hump (reduces materials for, and cost of speed hump). Shade trees within chicanes and street-side water-harvesting basins. Illustration by Joe Marshall
Before harvesting water in neighborhood intersection, Tucson, Arizona.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
After removing asphalt and installing curb for traffic circle in Dunbar/Spring neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona.
Direct rainfall captured in storm.
Would have been even better to have excavated even more of a basin to increase capacity for the harvest of more water and sponge-like, fertile organic matter generated from plants yet to be planted.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Neighbors planting the traffic circle and staining the concrete curb a more earthy color with ferrous sulphate.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Neighbors harvesting native foods grown within the water-harvesting, traffic-calming traffic circle.
Weather vane of Gambel’s quail atop crossroad sign (made by neighborhood artists) within circle invites others to plant such native, food-bearing vegetation. Studies have found that by utilizing such plants in at least 20% of private and public landscapes we can grow the habitat to support such native birds.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Traffic circle in convex intersection (center of road is higher than sides of road).
Raised curb (and sunken, mulched basin within) retains rainfall that would otherwise run off. Curb cuts let in runoff flowing along the high crown or ridge of road.
Note: the construction of this circle reduced the paved area of the intersection by 26%!
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Sunken water-harvesting traffic circle and planting island within a cul-de-sac.
Street-side plantings also harvest street runoff to freely irrigate street trees.
Illustration: Joe Marshall
Snow shows us unused paved areas that can be depaved, and brought back to life with in-street plantings of stormwater, trees, and understory plantings in Philadelphia.
Credit: Jon Geeting from his blogged essay “What Snow Tells Us About Creating Better Public Spaces.”
Harvesting street runoff within planted median freely irrigates young native food-producing mesquite trees irrigated by harvested street runoff. Civano neighborhood, Tucson, Arizona. Arrow denotes water flow.
Photo: Brad Lancaster
Water-harvesting, vegetated chicanes or buildouts with flush curbs. Used where road is crowned or raised in the center and drains runoff to street-side curb. Flush curb allows runoff to infiltrate soil of planting area, while surplus runoff continues down the street. These chicanes calm traffic by forcing it to meander. The Garden District neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona.
Photo: Brad Lancaster

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