Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sections
Personal tools
You are here: Home Projects Caribbean Avenue Green Street
Document Actions

Caribbean Avenue Green Street

Project URL link
Sponsoring Agency City of Sunnyvale
Subregions ('South Bay',)
Counties Santa Clara County
Watershed Tributary
Public or private land? ()
Location (lat/lon) 37.417214, -122.017091
Start Date 04/01/2016
End Date 10/31/2017
Location Description The Project area is located in northern Sunnyvale at the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay.
Caribbean Avenue Green Street

The Caribbean Avenue Green Street Project will retrofit a stretch of an existing arterial street with Low Impact Development water quality improvements, increase visibility and access to the San Francisco Bay Trail, and serve as an opportunity to educate Bay Trail users and high tech company commuters about the connection between urban landscapes and the Bay. Specifically, the Project will eliminate one of three travel lanes on each side of a stretch of Caribbean Avenue in north Sunnyvale (approximately 120,000 square feet), and the excess road area will be used to construct approximately 11,620 square feet of bioretention rain gardens to capture and treat polluted road runoff and provide more than 40 parking spaces for Bay Trail visitors. The resulting street will be a notable demonstration of Sustainable Streets concepts – incorporating water quality treatment with multi-modal travel and pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvements. Integrating the rain gardens with Bay Trail parking will also create a unique watershed educational setting for hundreds of daily visitors and area employees.

Drinking Water Supply
Water Quality Improvement
Water Reuse/Recycling
Stormwater Improvements
Groundwater Benefits
Infiltration
Habitat Protection and Restoration
Flood Protection
The Project will provide water quality improvement, stormwater improvements, and infiltration by retrofitting an existing street with Low Impact Development bioretention features. Specifically the constructed bioretention areas will provide for stormwater retention, infiltration, and treatment where none currently exists.

Part 2 - Detail

This Project will retrofit an existing arterial street with Low Impact Development water quality improvements, increase visibility and access to the San Francisco Bay Trail, and serve as an opportunity to educate Bay Trail users and high-tech company commuters about the connection between urban landscapes and the Bay. Specifically, the project will eliminate one of three travel lanes on each side of a stretch of Caribbean Avenue in north Sunnyvale (approximately 120,000 square feet) where the excess road area will be used to construct approximately 11,620 square feet of bioretention rain gardens and provide more than 40 parking spaces for Bay Trail visitors. The bioretention areas will be designed to capture and treat the regional stormwater permit required runoff volume, consistent with regional Green Street expectations. The rain gardens will be planted with California natives and adapted plants chosen for their low irrigation requirements, pest resistance, and proven performance in rain gardens. The Project is scalable and project and treatment areas can be adjusted, if needed.

This Project is located in the Moffett Industrial Park, Sunnyvale’s largest employment center with more than 30,000 employees and housing corporate campuses for companies such as Yahoo!, NetApp, Juniper Networks, and Lockheed Martin. Many of these company employees utilize the Bay Trail for recreational purposes throughout the day. Caribbean Avenue is also a commute route for area employees from highways 237 and 101. Additionally, the Project is located at the entrance to Sunnyvale’s EcoCampus, housing the City’s Water Pollution Control Plant and the Sunnyvale Materials and Recovery Transfer Station. Construction of the rain gardens and location of Bay Trail parking in this area will create an inviting gateway that connects the area’s employees with the Bay and the critical environmental services provided at the City’s EcoCampus. Moving the Bay Trail parking from its current, somewhat hidden location next to the City’s Water Pollution Control Plant to Caribbean Avenue will increase its visibility and can result in additional Bay Trail users, increasing community awareness and appreciation of the Bay. The City will also explore the possibility of connecting the rain garden irrigation system with the City’s recycled water system.

This Project complements other City and Santa Clara Valley Water District projects in the area that will improve flood protection, construct new trails, and improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Studies show that climate change will affect  sea level and precipitation patterns (frequency and intensity). Collectively, these projects can result in important climate change and adaption benefits. Singularly, this Project can contribute to climate change and adaption benefits. This Project can demonstrate how bioretention rain gardens, by intercepting and capturing roadway runoff, can increase stormwater management capacity. The newly constructed rain gardens can also reduce urban heat island effects in the area through the reduction in heat reflecting paved surfaces and increasing native vegetation that can provide a natural cooling effect in the area.

The resulting street will be a notable demonstration of Sustainable Streets concepts and create a unique watershed educational setting for hundreds of daily visitors.

False
The Bay Area IRWM Plan identifies key regional challenges including Regulatory Compliance Challenges (which include challenges with achieving and maintaining stormwater requirements) and Financial and Funding Challenges (including lack of funding to comply with stormwater permit obligations). This Project would demonstrate how stormwater treatment features can be integrated with other public improvement projects. Additionally, implementation of the Project would add to the understanding of costs of green infrastructure improvements. The Caribbean Avenue Green Street Project uses Low Impact Development techniques proven to treat stormwater runoff from road running through a light industrial area. This Project will reduce the overall volume of runoff and provide treatment of previously untreated flows. The newly constructed rain gardens will also reduce urban heat island effect in the area through the reduction in heat reflecting paved surfaces and increasing native vegetation that can provide a natural cooling effect in the area.

Not implementing this proposal will further substantiate the challenges identified by local agencies in 2013 Bay Area IRWM Plan related to Regulatory Compliance and Financial and Funding Challenges. Local agencies, including Sunnyvale, will continue to struggle with how to meet increasing stormwater requirements, specifically related to green infrastructure planning and implementation, and agencies will continue to grapple with green infrastructure implementation with a lack of information and understanding of the costs associated with these types of projects. Additionally, the long term water quality benefits provided by the bioretention areas designed to treat street runoff and remove sediment and other pollutants of concern will not be realized. 

Water Quality Benefits: It is commonly known that public streets in the Bay Area contribute polluted stormwater runoff to local waterways and, in turn to San Francisco Bay. The EPA’s “Protecting Water Quality from Urban Runoff” identifies primary urban runoff pollutants as sediment, sediment-bound pollutants such as heavy metals, PCBs, and pesticides, and hydrocarbons and oil and grease from motor vehicles. These pollutants can harm fish and wildlife, kill native vegetation, and adversely impact recreational areas. Through the construction of approximately 11,620 square feet of bioretention areas, the project will improve water quality by providing for landscape based treatment and pollutant removal of untreated road runoff prior to flowing to the Bay. 

Stormwater and Flood Management Benefits: Through the construction of bioretention areas, the Project will reduce the quantity of stormwater flowing to the Bay. By design, bioretention features capture and retain stormwater and promote infiltration. Underdrains are included to facilitate release of treated stormwater when retention capacity is exceeded.

Resource Stewardship Benefits: This Project creates a visible access point to the Bay Trail that intersperses rain garden treatment areas with public parking for Bay Trail users. Relocating the parking area from a hidden location next to Sunnyvale’s Water Pollution Control Plant can increase awareness of the Bay Trail among area employees and visitors, increase Bay Trail use, and increase watershed and Bay stewardship. Interpretive signage will be placed at key locations highlighting the benefits of the rain gardens, educating visitors about the connection between the urban landscape and the Bay, and the importance of Bay protection actions. 

 

 

False
False
False
Increases Water Supply Reliability
Advances/ Expands Conjunctive Management of Multiple Water Supply Sources
Increases Water Use and/or Reuse Efficiency
Provides Additional Water Supply
Promotes Water Quality Protection
Reduces Water Demand
Advances/Expands Water Recycling
Promotes Urban Runoff Reuse
Addresses Sea Level Rise
Addresses other Anticipated Climate Change Impact (e.g. through water management system modifications)
Improves Flood Control (e.g. through wetlands restoration, management, protection)
Promotes Habitat Protection
Establishes Migration Corridors
Re-establishes River-Floodplain Hydrologic Continuity
Re-introduces Anadromous Fish Populations to Upper Watersheds
Enhances and Protects Upper Watershed Forests and Meadow Systems
Other (Please Describe)
Increases Water Use Efficiency or Promotes Energy-Efficient Water Demand Reduction
Improves Water System Energy Efficiency
Advances/Expands Water Recycling
Promotes Urban Runoff Reuse
Promotes Use of Renewable Energy Sources
Contributes to Carbon Sequestration (e.g. through vegetation growth)
Other (Please Describe)
(low) - (high)
Drought Preparedness
Use and Reuse Water More Efficiently
Climate Change Response Actions (Adaptation to Climate Change, Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Reduce Energy Consumption)
Expand Environmental Stewardship
Practice Integrated Flood Management
Protect Surface and Groundwater Quality
Improve Tribal Water and Natural Resources
Ensure Equitable Distribution of Benefits
Reduce Reliance on the Bay-Delta
Reduce Water Demand
Improved Operational Efficiency and Transfers
Increase Water Supply
Improve Water Quality
Improve Flood Management
Practice Resources Stewardship
Other Strategies (Please Describe)
Groundwater Management Plan
Urban Water Management Plan
Water Meter Requirements
Groundwater Monitoring Requirements
AB 1420 Compliance
BMP Compliance
CEQA Compliance
Water supply reliability, water conservation and water use efficiency
Stormwater capture, storage, clean-up, treatment, and management
Removal of invasive non-native species, the creation and enhancement of wetlands, and the acquisition, protection, and restoration of open space and watershed lands
Non-point source pollution reduction, management and monitoring
Groundwater recharge and management projects
Contaminant and salt removal through reclamation, desalting, and other treatment technologies and conveyance of reclaimed water for distribution to users
Water banking, exchange, reclamation and improvement of water quality
Planning and implementation of multipurpose flood management programs
Watershed protection and management
Drinking water treatment and distribution
Ecosystem and fisheries restoration and protection
Reduced Reliance on the Bay-Delta
Projects that directly address a critical water quality or supply issue in a DAC
Urban water suppliers implementing certain BMPs as on page 17 of Guidelines
Be designed to manage stormwater runoff to reduce flood damage (PRC §5096.827)
Be consistent with the applicable Regional Water Quality Control Plans (Basin Plans) (PRC §5096.827)
Not be a part of the State Plan of Flood Control (SPFC) (PRC §5096.827)

Project team

Part 3 - Benefits