Chuck Taylor, general manager of Advanced Pavement Technology in Oswego, is quoted in today's Chicago Tribune on the benefits of porous paving.
"Any horizontal surface that is being paved now could theoretically be paved with permeable pavement," Taylor said. "We could immediately reduce the amount of runoff, capture the first-flush pollutants … [and] promote groundwater recharge so we can replenish our drinking water." Chicago has used permeable pavement as part of a 'green alleys' program and plans to use it in streets in the next year or two, said Department of Transportation spokesman Brian Steele. 'It works especially well in alleys, where drainage is a problem,' Steele said, because most are not hooked into storm sewers and are lined with decidedly non-absorbent garages. Used in Europe for decades, so-called permeable pavement allows rainwater to pass through instead of running off into rivers or lakes. Made of either porous asphalt and concrete or paving stones shaped to leave gaps at the corners, the surfaces are just starting to catch on in the area as part of the movement toward "green building," which seeks to lessen the environmental impact of development.