• students march and goats clear brush

      (L) South Pasadena’s Climate Action March, July 4, 2019. (R) Goats grazing fire-prone brush (Photos – Marina Khubesrian)

      Facing higher temperatures and longer heat waves as time progresses, the South Pasadena City Council Nov. 18 is expected to approve a climate action plan two years in the making.

      By William J. Kelly

      Easing gridlock and cutting auto use, particularly for local trips to stores, schools, and parks, will be key to successfully carrying out the plan, according to South Pasadena Public Works Director Shahid Abbas. He made his remarks late last month when the city’s Natural Resources & Environmental Commission approved the 200-plus-page blueprint for reducing greenhouse gases and adapting to a warmer climate.

      Cutting transportation emissions, the plan shows, will involve boosting electric vehicle use in the city by increasing the number and accessibility of charging stations. It also will entail developing local shared transit programs, potentially including city-sponsored rideshare services.

      The other major transportation strategy will be to facilitate more “active transportation” by creating complete streets that make it easier and more pleasant to bike and walk. Fortunately, money for such transportation measures has been freed up by the demise of the 710 Freeway.

      The plan, developed by Rincon Consultants with a state-funded grant, shows transportation emissions from local trips account for 52 percent of climate warming emissions in South Pasadena. That’s more than 62,000 tons a year.

      The other major source of emissions is from energy use, namely using electricity and natural gas in buildings. By joining the Clean Power Alliance, a public organization that provides electricity in many areas of Los Angeles and Ventura County, at the 100 percent renewable energy level, South Pasadena already has eliminated about 24,000 tons a year of emissions. That’s about 19 percent of its total. Natural gas use results in a bit more than 24,000 tons a year, with the remainder coming from water pumping and waste management operations.

      Emissions in the city total more than 125,000 tons a year. State emissions reduction requirements are projected to cut that by 2045 by about 60,000 tons a year. The local plan aims to cut an additional 33,000 tons annually, with some 10,000 tons a year of cuts coming from the transportation sector.

      The bulk of the remaining reductions would come from phasing out use of natural gas in buildings by increasing use of electric appliances for heating, water heating, and cooking, first in new and later in existing buildings as worn out appliances are replaced. The extent to which natural gas is phased out may depend in part on advances in induction stovetops, which currently are less than optimal for wok-style cooking.

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        • William J. Kelly

          William J. Kelly has spent his career in journalism and communications, including as a reporter and editor for what is today known as Bloomberg Industry Group in Washington, D.C., and as a writer for numerous publications. He also managed communications for the South Coast Air Quality Management District and has authored several books.

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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      1. Kep Whiteford says:

        The programs suggested may help reduce traffic by S.Pas locals. However, past economic policies have made the city a magnet for drivers from other communities. This is a city of 25,000 with 5 groceries plus a Big Lots. There are quite a few restaurants (+30), coffee shops (8) and bank branches (7) for such a small city. I think the cars will keep coming.

      2. Todd says:

        As these road diets increase congestion in NELA and surrounding communities, I find myself relying on Amazon rather than sit at red lights on Fig, in Old Town, crossing York and now ventuing to SouthPass for dinner. I’ll probably head to other parts of town if I’m forced onto the freeway anyway.

      3. klunkerboy says:

        So Pas has really shot themselves in the foot over the last 4 decades by pigheadedly refusing to accept any other solution than “no freeway, no cars, go away” The best solution was and still is the tunnel, from Valley to California, would have eliminated 90% of the pass through traffic while leaving the city relatively untouched but the NIMBYs and BANANAs got that shot down, so now you get to deal with the traffic, forever, the city owned it with their stubborness. Their entire policy has been to “wish away” the traffic and it has utterly and completely failed to materialize hasn’t it, wishing only works for Peter Pan. Road diets and calming will only slow down the traffic more, and back up the cars more, leading to near constant eventual gridlock at peak hours, people are not magically going to go miles out of their way just so some wishful thinkers can believe they can increase their property values. Cars are here to stay, LA is way too large for a transit only solution, personal cars will be there because of their convenience and ability to go wherever needed, not where the station is.

      4. Joanne Nuckols says:

        I didn’t have time to read the plan, but one other strategy that needs to be added is to eliminate the 18-20% of through trips in South Pasadena caused by the two stubs of the freeway in Alhambra and Pasadena (statistic from 710 EIR). Doing this would have a very positive effect and maybe a major effect on reduction of air pollution. In 1976 Caltrans and the City of Pasadena went to court and partially lifted our 1973 injunction to allow for the Pasadena stub and “wishbone” to open in Pasadena claiming there would not be any more traffic. That, of course, is not true and for 44 years Southwest Pasadena neighborhoods as well as Fremont in South Pasadena have been overburdened by additional traffic. Now that the 710 is dead, that stub and wishbone should be calmed for the benefit of Pasadena and South Pasadena neighborhoods.

        • Meredith says:

          Instead, they are looking at making the Fair Oaks to 110 onramp work more smoothly which would increase capacity and induce more car trips through South Pasadena.

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