Sandy Boulevard Streetscape

In the early 1990s, bioswales and rain gardens began to appear adjacent to buildings and parking lots. But the city realized that runoff from streets carries more particulate and pollutants than from buildings and parking lots, so small pilot projects were created, aimed at treating surface runoff from the boulevard. The first small, vegetated infiltration basins were located on NE Siskiyou, near Sandy Boulevard, and on SW 12th Avenue, near Portland State University.

In 2005, Sandy Boulevard, one of the Oregon's busiest corridors, was transformed into multi-functional green street at the center of several of Portland's most urban neighborhoods. This 30-block segment is an example of how green infrastructure can be integrated into small plazas at intersections. Green infrastructure is used to reduce stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat, and improve air and water quality and neighborhood livability.  

Through a jurisdictional transfer, the former state highway became a local arterial of the city. Portland's Bureau of Transportation received a federal grant to improve traffic, pedestrian safety, and accessibility in a section of it. The agency collaborated with the Bureau of Environmental Services to carry out the "Grey to Green" program, which enabled the investment in green infrastructure.
The Sandy Boulevard streetscape was designed by Nevue Ngan Associates; Lloyd Lindley, FASLA; and the URS Corporation in 2005.

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