Planning Commission

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Jan 02

Rushing Around During the Holidays and Thinking about Green Parking Lots

Posted on January 2, 2015 at 2:22 PM by Michael Stokes

Over the past few weeks, each of us has spent too much time in parking lots as part of our mad search to find the perfect holiday gifts for those whom we love.  While we all would agree that parking lots may be convenient places to store our multi-ton vehicles while we shop, they are often times incredibly dismal settings that seem to function poorly for any other purpose than storing cars.  Many of the parking lots that I have recently visited were aesthetically bleak, devoid of landscaping, micro climate disasters, sources of potential flooding, functional waste lands, over-lit, confusing and potentially dangerous to pedestrians and motorists.  Do all parking lots have to be like these?  The answer is an emphatic no!  Over the next year, the Montgomery County Planning Commission will be providing new information about how to design green parking lots where:

  • stormwater is managed in creative ways such as porous pavement, rain gardens, and infiltration beds;
  • lighting makes the lot safe at night without diminishing the night sky surrounding it;
  • cars and people stay cool in the summer and are protected from icy winds in the winter;
  • landscaping adds color, texture, and habitat;
  • pedestrians can walk safely through the lot;
  • vehicle access and circulation is safe;
  • multiple uses on the lot can be accommodated such as farmers markets;
  • renewable energy is promoted through LED lighting, car plug in systems and different solar and wind energy generation devices.
Einstein bioswale III.JPG


Dulcie Flaharty
January 7, 2015 at 12:46 PM
Montgomery County can boast about an increasing number of great parking lots. Let's highlight more of them and create "parking lot envy" throughout the region. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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