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Natural systems approach to preventing environmental harm from unpaved roads Colbert, Woodrow J

By: Publication details: Transportation Research Record, 2003Description: nr 1819, s. 210-7Subject(s): Bibl.nr: VTI P8169:2003 Ref ; VTI P8167Location: Abstract: In the United States, non-point-source pollution has been documented at more than 11,000 individual sites along the state of Pennsylvania's 20,000 mi of unpaved roads. This substantiates the fact that traditional road maintenance practices are not addressing dust and sediment pollution. A Dirt and Gravel Road Pollution Prevention Program instigated by concerned citizens, initiated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and implemented by local county conservation districts has begun implementing an education and funding program that encourages recognition and use of the relentless forces of nature to reduce pollution through enlightened road maintenance objectives and decisions. Referred to as the natural systems approach, this work has application when maintenance decisions are made by nonengineer generalists who can be quickly trained to recognize the indicators of stable vegetation and drainage patterns associated with good and bad road performance. Replicating the stable environments associated with good roads is then a local initiative to treat the problem and not the symptom. Solutions can be accomplished in stages with whatever resources local officials have available. Examples of a few ramifications of traditional decision making together with alternative solutions to them were developed to precipitate discussion. A call has been made to assemble an interdisciplinary task force to further efforts, such as AASHTO's 2001 "Guidelines for Geometric Design of Very Low-Volume Local Roads (ADT < 400)," that will relieve pressure on local officials to adhere to traditional decision making, which is based on paved high-volume roads.
Item type: Reports, conferences, monographs
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In the United States, non-point-source pollution has been documented at more than 11,000 individual sites along the state of Pennsylvania's 20,000 mi of unpaved roads. This substantiates the fact that traditional road maintenance practices are not addressing dust and sediment pollution. A Dirt and Gravel Road Pollution Prevention Program instigated by concerned citizens, initiated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and implemented by local county conservation districts has begun implementing an education and funding program that encourages recognition and use of the relentless forces of nature to reduce pollution through enlightened road maintenance objectives and decisions. Referred to as the natural systems approach, this work has application when maintenance decisions are made by nonengineer generalists who can be quickly trained to recognize the indicators of stable vegetation and drainage patterns associated with good and bad road performance. Replicating the stable environments associated with good roads is then a local initiative to treat the problem and not the symptom. Solutions can be accomplished in stages with whatever resources local officials have available. Examples of a few ramifications of traditional decision making together with alternative solutions to them were developed to precipitate discussion. A call has been made to assemble an interdisciplinary task force to further efforts, such as AASHTO's 2001 "Guidelines for Geometric Design of Very Low-Volume Local Roads (ADT < 400)," that will relieve pressure on local officials to adhere to traditional decision making, which is based on paved high-volume roads.

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