The Tucson City Council is supporting a measure that would redesign roads to funnel storm water drainage from roadways to the sides of the roads, where it would irrigate the vegetation planted there.
The council approved the proposal during its study session this week. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild proposed the measure, with the theory that water runoff can be more effectively managed than it is now.
The new guidelines call for new roads, or those being reconstructed, to be designed to funnel water from the road to the shoulders or medians to irrigate plants.
The idea makes sense, Rothschild said.
“These new standards will also encourage tree growth throughout Tucson, including in economically stressed areas, areas that often have fewer trees, so there’s actually even an environmental justice component to this," he said.
Trees along roads encourage people to use the sidewalks, he said.
“Sometimes solutions can be low tech, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable,” Rothschild said.
The new guidelines could save the city money on irrigation, said Councilman Paul Cunningham.