The Capitol Heights Green Infrastructure Plan developed a vision for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and transportation corridor linking the Capitol Heights Metro Station with downtown Capitol Heights. Supported by the Chesapeake Bay Trusts Green Streets Green Jobs Green Towns Initiative, the project focused on integrating stormwater management and low impact development wherever possible.
Stretching from the Capitol Heights Metro Station, south along Capitol Heights Boulevard to downtown Capitol heights, the corridor is heavily trafficked by commuters and residents to reach points throughout Maryland and Washington DC.
This project explored integrating green infrastructure into TOD from the very beginning. Starting with the street and right-of-way infrastructure, we hope to set a precedent for future development within this corridor.
Beginning with community input, we investigated what a comprehensive redevelopment project might look like along this corridor including mixed income housing, commercial space, green infrastructure, trail connections, parks, and the daylighting of a stream that runs north-south alongside the corridor.
The residents were polled to determine which type of street infrastructure they liked best. In the end, two types were selected, the south section of the roadway would integrate sharrows due to width restrictions, making medians impossible. To the north, a large median would be introduced with street trees and wider sidewalks to improve pedestrian connections,and reduce traffic speeds. Sidewalks along the entire corridor were widened to include safe accessibility for wheelchairs, and ample space for street furniture, lighting, and stormwater management features.
Capitol Heights, although not in full build-out conditions, has a lack of park space, with much of the undeveloped land either in disrepair, or fenced off. As such two parks were developed on plots of land that would have required extensive earthwork and stream relocation to develop upon. Linked by the green street corridor, these parks would serve future residents as well as serve as a gateway to the city.
The Capitol Heights Green Street Master Plan was one of seven finalists for the American Planning Association Maryland/Delaware Chapter’s 2012 Planners’ Choice Award and took home second place under the “Great Plans” category. This award was created to highlight people, places, and activities that increased the public’s awareness of the role of planning within the state of Maryland. The Planners’ Choice Awards give recognition for exemplary planning to individuals who provided leadership and innovation, locations that are the result of excellent planning, and the process that results in best practices that can be replicated elsewhere.
The complete report can be found at the link below.