Like LEED, But For Roads

The niversity of Washington and CH2M HILL have released a new sustainability rating system for roads.

The system aims to evaluate road projects' design, source materials and hauling activities.

"The 'Greenroads Rating System v1.0 (short version PDF)' is segmented into two major sections: Project Requirements and Voluntary Credits. The rating program features 11 'Project Requirements' that must be met in order to be certified Greenroads. Requirements include noise mitigation, low-impact drainage solutions, storm water management and waste management plans.

Participants in the program can also choose to pursue any of the 118 'Voluntary Credits' such as providing scenic views, using recycled materials, incorporating quiet pavement and accommodating non-motorized transportation."

Full Story: Ratings System Targets Environmental Impact of Roadways



Don't confuse the "how" with the "why"

This seems like a really good idea for when a road needs to be built, or more importantly, when it needs to be rebuilt. But we need to be very careful that this doesn't turn into a bit of greenwashing where a road can get a high rating on this scale despite the fact that improvements to transit service or a change in land-use policy might be far more beneficial to the environment.

How a road is built is far different from why it needs to be built. Just because a road can be built with a smaller environmental impact does not mean it should actually be built.

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