Smog sucks
May 10, 2007, 2:47 pm
Filed under: travel

I can see that LA would have been nice 50 years ago. I couldn’t live there now – not unless someone paid me an awful lot of money (which, of course, is quite common there). I couldn’t live there because the traffic is appalling, commute times are intolerable, and the pollution is out of control.Rachel has a small, efficient, practical car. It doesn’t use too much fuel so doesn’t cost too much, it’s all she needs – but she’s looking at upgrading to a larger model for safety reasons! I was astounded by the dreadful driving I saw on the freeways. I completely understand why she doesn’t feel safe in her little car, competing against semi trailers and giant SUVs driven by people blatantly talking on their mobile phones. How are we supposed to reduce carbon emissions when people aren’t safe to drive economical cars? Not everyone can afford a hybrid vehicle.

The freeways are omnipresent. LA is not a city – it’s a series of enclaves surrounded by monstrous roads. It looked to me like there was more land covered by roads in LA than buildings. Parks are a rarity. As nice as some of the beaches are, as appealing as some of the sights may be, I think LA is a horrible city. It’s ruled by cars and asphalt. Arnie has a lot of work on his hands to try and make it sustainable and pleasant.

This photo was taken from a Starbucks overlooking the famous Hollywood sign in the hills. Unfortunately you can barely see it because of the smog. I was reading in The Economist that LA is more polluted than London or New York. That doesn’t surprise me.


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