It is the mission of the Streetscape Section of the Department of Engineering
and Public Works to provide well designed, safe and sustainable beautification
in the medians of unincorporated area thoroughfare roadways in order to
supplement the urban forest and to enhance our environment. Beautification
typically consists of trees, but may also include sod and remotely controlled
and monitored irrigation systems. We strive to enhance the driving experience
for those traveling the beautified roads, through the design, implementation and
maintenance of appropriate, aesthetically pleasing enhancement projects, in a
cost-effective and responsible way.
Administrative and Design
The Administrative and Design functions of the Section provide general
oversight and control of the Section's day-to-day activities, as well as program
planning. There are both in-house landscape architecture and irrigation design
and computer drafting capabilities, along with oversight of consulting landscape
architectural firms. This function encompasses all necessary coordination with
utility companies, permitting agencies and appropriate other organizations to
ensure that the projects prepared and overseen by the Section are fully
implementable. This function also includes the review of all plans for
landscaping in the right of way that have been proposed by
The Construction Coordination function is responsible for the implementation
of projects that are planned and designed under the Administrative and Design
functions. This includes working with annual landscaping contractors to locate
and secure acceptable plant materials, as well as overseeing the contractor's
installation of the projects. Projects are monitored throughout each project's
one year warranty period to ensure that any trees that have failed will be
replaced by the contractor at no cost to the County as is required by warranty.
In some cases, projects consist of, or may include telemetry controlled
irrigation systems that are remotely controlled and strictly monitored to ensure
efficient use of water, compliance with water use regulations, permitting
requirements, and safety standards. Whenever possible, irrigation systems
utilize appropriately-sized and permitted wells, or when it is available, reuse
water as sources for irrigation water.
Maintenance Oversight and
The Maintenance Oversight function is applicable on certain County roads
where trees have been installed under this program for the oversight and
direction of annual highway landscaping maintenance contractors to ensure that
they are conforming to the requirements of their contracts with the County. In
addition to many requirements which include fertilizing and tree trimming,
typically, such contracts provide for regular mowing and trimming of the road
rights of way that are under contract. Contract maintenance also includes a
requirement for litter pick-up on each service visit by the contractor.
Staff-performed Maintenance is provided to accomplish periodic structural tree
trimming, as is required to promote healthy, wind-resistant tree growth.
Maintenance may also include re-staking, transplanting or re-planting of trees.
We have made significant advances in implementing a Geographic Information
System (GIS), which among its many capabilities, enables us to effectively
schedule and monitor maintenance events, track warranties, and the histories of
our resources (trees and irrigation facilities). The GIS also serves as a tool
that helps us to respond quickly and effectively to streetscape matters
involving the public´s safety.
The Irrigation function is accomplished in two basic fashions:
- Supplemental truck watering is provided on an as-needed basis for trees that were installed under the "Trees Only" program. This is accomplished by staff using County-owned water trucks;
- Where telemetry-controlled irrigation systems have already been installed, such systems are maintained by staff to ensure that they are operating safely, effectively, efficiently, and in strict compliance with all current water use regulations.