01 January 2019

Do Covered Roads Make Sense In Urban Areas?

A Kaiser Permanente parking lot near the Denver-Aurora border near Alameda and Havana.

Imagine a street in a urban residential neighborhood covered with structures similar to those of the parking lot shown above.

Snow removal wouldn't be necessary. The street would stay free of ice. The diversion of snow and ice from the road and the lack of a need to put salt or sand on the road would make potholes and other forms of road surface deterioration that requires maintenance less common. 

Summer shade would also reduce road deterioration and reduce the extent to which the street contributes to a heat bubble, cooling the neighborhood. 

Light pollution from street lights at night to the larger community would be reduced. Solar panels atop the covers would power the street lights and perhaps return power to the grid as well.

These structures probably aren't terribly expensive to build, and maintaining a traditional tree canopy over urban streets that serves a similar purpose, can be challenging in the arid west.

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