Letter: Laguna Beach Needs to Address Air Quality

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According to the L.A. Times, Los Angeles had 89 days of unhealthy, smoggy air in 2018. New York City has a law that requires idling vehicles to shut off their engines after four minutes, or get a ticket.

Here, one always sees people sitting in their vehicles, big S.U.V’s, cars, trucks, with the engine running, windows rolled up, air conditioning on, fiddling with their cell phones. Once I went to a grocery store, and when I came out 20 minutes later, a lady was still sitting in her car, motor running, with the cell phone.

Frequently, I notice Laguna Beach Public Works trucks with idling engines, windows closed, when the workers are on a break, reading their cell phones.

The AQMD has a color-coded map to show the quality of the air as it moves around the region. For the past several weeks, the color in coastal Orange County has been almost uniformly yellow, indicating polluted air. Today, Oct. 2, for the first time lately, it was green. Some interior areas have been maroon and sometimes brown, indicating severe air pollution.

I know that these things take years before common sense legislation is passed to improve our lives, but now might be a good time to start.

Maybe the City Council of Laguna Beach will address the issue of air pollution and at least begin with city workers, and then the general public, as the city of New York has done.

David Kelly, Laguna Beach

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  1. David,
    Thank you, for your reasonable suggestion to take simple measures to improve air quality.
    I agree the city should begin with their employees.
    Environmental sensitivity is an important consideration..


  2. Start with the parents and kids at every school, lines of cars sit idling waiting to pick up their kids everyday. Educate them but don’t create more regulations Laguna won’t enforce. Then get my Village Laguna neighbors to stop burning wood to heat their home some mornings.

  3. Last time I checked the school district had 3000 enrolled students on four campuses (Anneliese excluded) and two bike racks near the high school tunnel, together they hold 13 bikes. Recent NextDoor polls show if safety provisions were made, students would rather walk and bike to school than drive a car.


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