- Awards and Recognition
- Annual Reports
- Barrier Aesthetics
- Blue Star Memorial Highways
- Classified Landscaped Freeways
- Community Identification
- Context Sensitive Solutions
- Erosion Control Toolbox
- Gateway Monuments
- Highway Planting
- Mission Bells
- Nonstandard Specification Info
- Policy, Manuals and Procedures
- Roadside Toolbox
- Safety Roadside Rest Area System
- Scenic Highways
- Standard Specifications and Plans
- Transportation Art
- Visual Impact Assessment Outlines
- Visual Impact Assessment Training
- Water Conservation
Landscape Architecture Research
The purpose of the Landscape Architecture Program (LAP) research program is to advance Landscape Architecture professional practices and knowledge by researching and implementing state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies that balance mobility, safety and maintainability with economic needs, adjacent land values and aesthetic, environmental scenic and community values.
Specific examples of recent research include: investigation into new techniques for effective erosion control, evaluation of the benefits provided by compost to soil structure and long term plant establishment, and strategies for improving the effectiveness of Safety Roadside Rest Areas.
We've been working hard to advance the Landscape Architecture Program (LAP) research program and provide tangible research results that help designers deliver high-quality projects on time and in budget. Status updates on current research studies are listed below.
Native Grass Sod
As a result of this study, the Department inspired industry to develop native grass sod that is now commercially available from at least one grower, Delta Bluegrass. The current Turf (Sod) specification can be modified to specify native grass sod. Native grass sod is now being used by District designers to establish immediate 100% cover by native grass for bioswales and other areas critical to water quality.
Roadside Management Research
Several recent studies updated our soil management practices:
- Compost for Erosion Control and Stormwater Quality (V. Claassen, UC Davis).
- Soil Resource Evaluation 1 & 2 (V. Claassen, UC Davis).
- Roadside Erosion Control Management Studies (B. Hallock, Cal Poly SLO).
- Native Plants and Mycorrhizal Fungi for Slope Stabilization and Topsoil Management (K. Voglesang, Indiana University).
Findings from these studies are incorporated in the new Caltrans Erosion Control Tool Box. Designers may compare best management practices such as Erosion Control (Compost Blanket) and Compost (Incorporate) with a number of other innovative approaches to better identify the most effective methods to maintain stormwater quality.
Biostrips and Bioswales
The Ornamental Roadside Vegetated Treatment Study is studying the stormwater treatment performance of existing and new vegetation (native and ornamental) in strips and swales. We are currently monitoring 9 locations throughout the state and preliminary reports indicates that shrubs and groundcover provide stormwater treatment. At the end of the rainy season in spring 2010 a statistical analysis will be performed to determine if additional monitoring is needed. This study is a follow-up to the Roadside Vegetated Treatment Study that looked only at grasses and annual weeds.
Design and Planning Research
Safety Roadside Rest Areas
Findings from the 2008 Private/Public Partnership Strategies for Safety Roadside Rest Areas and the 2009 Reduce Accidents Involving Driver Fatigue studies demonstrated the need for strategic planning for funding and development of improvements to the Safety Roadside Rest Area system. An updated study on the Safety Roadside Rest Area Master Plan is now available online.
The Effects of Transportation Corridor Features on Driver and Pedestrian Behavior study is underway and expected to be completed in 2011. Findings from this study are anticipated to provide defensible performance measures to determine user safety, public health, environmental and economic effects of corridor design features upon their adjacent communities.