Traditional streets are designed to direct stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces into storm sewer systems (gutters, drains, pipes) that discharge directly into local waters, such as Puget Sound, with minimal to no stormwater treatment. This untreated stormwater carries particles and contaminants from roadways and is the largest source of pollution in Puget Sound.
Green streets are designed to capture and treat stormwater runoff using biofiltration. Green street planters, also known as rain gardens or bioswales, are landscaped areas between the street and sidewalk that use plants and soils to slow, filter, and clean stormwater runoff before it is discharged into local waters.
Green streets help:
For many decades, the City of Des Moines has made efforts to enhance the value of its Downtown and Marina for residents and the region. In the mid-1980s, the City conducted a Revitalization planning project that identified the importance of Marine View Drive, 7th Ave S, and the alleyway in-between. One of the most significant elements of this plan highlighted the missing ‘Pedestrian Connection’ to the waterfront from Downtown to the Marina. Further planning investment included the Marina District Enhancement Master Plan in 2008, which was prepared by the University of Washington. The plan once again highlighted the need for Marina redevelopment and pedestrian access between Downtown and the Marina.
Since 2016, City administration has been actively pursuing many possibilities to make these efforts a reality. On February 2, 2023, the City Council provided further direction to City Administration that Capital Improvement Projects be brought forward. Acknowledging the need for pedestrian connectivity between Downtown to the Marina, the South 223rd Green Street Study Planning Project, as part of the holistic Marina Redevelopment Projects, will focus on enhancing the pedestrian experience for residents and visitors, creating a distinctive identity for Des Moines’ Downtown, as well as strategically investing in stormwater quality improvements.
The initial study phase of the project began in early 2023 with surveying and base mapping, as well as geotechnical and stormwater analysis. Conceptual design work began in Spring 2023 and will continue through Fall of 2023. The construction timeline for the project is still to be determined.
Led by the Public Works Department, the City is undertaking a comprehensive planning and analysis effort during this initial phase of the project. The Project Team is currently completing stormwater and geotechnical analysis to determine the potential stormwater treatment area and conceptual design options. These initial conceptual designs will then be presented to City Council and the community for input and feedback before determining the final design.
Numerous cities around Western Washington have implemented green streets to improve both local water quality and neighborhoods through the addition of green space and improved pedestrian areas. A few nearby examples include the High Point area in West Seattle, the Swale on Yale in Downtown Seattle, and Cheney Stadium/Clay Huntington Way in Tacoma.
The Green Street Project Team is coordinating closely with the Marina Steps and other Downtown project teams to ensure a cohesive and coordinated final design that supports the goals and vision of the overall Des Moines Comprehensive Plan and Marina Master Plan.
We want to hear from you about what is important to you as we develop the conceptual design for the new South 223rd Green Street. Our initial phase of community outreach included an online public survey in late fall 2023 to gather feedback on preliminary design concepts and desired features. Future project phases will offer additional opportunities to provide feedback as the project team works towards a final design. Visit the website regularly to learn more about project details, updates, and upcoming community outreach events. For more information or to provide feedback, you may also contact the Project Team via email at email@example.com.
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