Los Angeles officials are going forward with a $40,000-a-mile program to coat public streets to fight climate change, despite the city’s many financial challenges — including a $73 million budget shortfall for dealing with the ever-expanding homeless population.
The program uses a light-colored sealant to cover the streets, which decreases the pavement temperature of so-called “heat-islands,” according to media reports.
Fox News reported (original links):
The LA Street Services began rolling out the project last May, which preliminary testing shows has reduced the temperature of roadways by up to 10 degrees.
The project involves applying a light gray coating of the product CoolSeal, made by the company GuardTop.
“CoolSeal is applied like conventional sealcoats to asphalt surfaces to protect and maintain the quality and longevity of the surface,” according to the company website. “While most cool pavements on the market are polymer based, CoolSeal is a water-based, asphalt emulsion.”
The morning temperature of the black asphalt in the middle of a nearby intersection read 93 degrees. The new light gray surface on Jordan Avenue read a cool 70 — on what would turn out to be the first heat wave of the year.
“It’s awesome. It’s very cool — both literally and figuratively,” exclaimed Councilman Bob Blumenfield, whose Los Angeles district includes Canoga Park, squinting into the laser handheld thermometer. “We are trying to control ‘the heat island effect’ ” — or hotter temperatures caused by urban sprawl.
“The downside: we won’t be able to fry eggs on the streets,” Blumenfield said.