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Downtown Public Parking Goes Green

Through the use of funds from the state Storm Water Grant Program, the City of Visalia has been able to implement Low Impact Development (LID) strategies to infiltrate water quality in Mill Creek.

Known as the Greening Downtown Visalia Public Parking project, work has been on-going, with more than 50,000 square feet of impermeable services removed from parking areas in the downtown region.

Working with the Urban Tree Foundation, and the consulting firm Provost & Pritchard, the team developed a plan to retrofit public parking lots with pervious concrete pavement.  Seven public parking lots were chosen in five downtown locations.  Each parking lot was paved with impervious asphalt and each lot drains directly into the Mill Creek channel. 

The Greening Downtown Visalia Public Parking project was designed to capture and treat 100% of an average year rainfall, and capture and retain 90% of a ten year, 24-hour storm event.  Based on local rainfall averages, the design should achieve cumulative average infiltration of 2.62 acre feet (AF) per year.

The project is an example of LID applied to an urban setting, as the components capture and treat storm water that would otherwise be discharged directly into Mill Creek.

With informational signage in place throughout downtown, citizens are invited to take a look at the parking lots and learn how they capture, infiltrate and recharge.

For more information, contact Fred Lampe, P.E., City of Visalia Engineering.

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