California Department of Transportation

LID Sidewalk Stormwater Planter

Stormwater Planter

Rte. 123, San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, CA


Tree Planter Detail

Example of Tree Planter Plan Detail, Source: City of Portland

Sidewalk Stormwater Planter:

Most main street environments have limited right-of-way to accommodate cars, trucks, busses, bicycles and pedestrians.  Adding stormwater treatment facilities can be challenging.  One solution is to implement sidewalk stormwater planters to treat runoff from streets and sidewalks. Landscape Architects must work closely with their Project development Team to identify opportunities to include sidewalk stormwater planters.

Sidewalk stormwater planters are usually rectangular in shape and are parallel to the curb.  The planters are typically offset from the curb to allow for exiting from parked cars.  Street runoff is diverted through curb-cuts to the planters where it can be retained, filtered, infiltrated and evapotranspired.  The soil level in the planter is lower than the curb flow-line to allow runoff to enter the planter through a curb inlet.

Below are links to design guidance and construction details for sidewalk stormwater planters. 

An excellent resource for a variety of stormwater planter details is the City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services, Stormwater Management Manual, Typical Details, Appendix G.3, Planters, Sheets SW-310 thru SW-316:

A full description of the City of Portland’s Green Street Program can be found here:  Portland Green Street Program:

Philadelphia has design guidance for stormwater planters.  Philadelphia Water Department, Green Stormwater Infrastructure Tools, Stormwater Planter:

Completed in 2009, the award winning San Mateo County Sustainable Green Streets and Parking Lots Design Guidebook is an excellent resource: