Good morning, riders and readers — and, of course, Happy New Years!
We’ll be back to our normal programming on the blog next Monday. As is our usual custom, we took some time off over the holidays and also put aside our daily chores to work on some long term stuff.
I took this photo from Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades last week. The trio of oil tankers sit in Santa Monica Bay with a band of smog obscuring Catalina Island thanks to the Santa Ana winds.
Of course, this is the same crud that usually blows inland, giving the Inland Empire a big snootful of nasty. I’m posting the photo as a reminder that although our region has enjoyed some very clear days in recent times, smog is hardly an issue of the past.
While ground-level ozone — a primary smog-causing agent that results from burning fossil fuels and other chemical reactions — has been on the decline, the amount found in our air is still way, way, way above federal standards as the chart below neatly shows.
What to do about it? There’s a lot that needs to be done on many fronts, but I hope among the solutions is getting some people out of cars and onto transit, bikes and sidewalks at least some of the time. And I think expanding our transit system also makes sense so that transit is a viable option to those who feel like driving is the only choice.
As for the above photo, feel free to put on your marketing hat and come up with a pro-transit slogan.