Los Angeles International Airport - Photo by LAANE

This afternoon, Green L.A. Transportation Work Group folks received an early look at a Coalition for Clean Air study on airport pollution. The presenter/researcher is Colleen Callahan, and the study isn’t quite finished, and not available on-line, but will be available some time in the near future at the CCA website.

Here’s the blurb that was sent out announcing the meeting:

While Colleen’s report is larger in scope, for this presentation she will focus on passenger ground access transportation at Los Angeles International. LAX is the most polluting airport in the region and the vehicles traveling to and from LAX are most significant source of pollution related to the airport’s operations. Colleen finds that LAX’s ground access pricing system is such that the most polluting and least efficient transportation mode– the kiss-and-ride option that results in four trips versus two or less– is incentvized while less polluting modes– drive and park, taxi, shuttle, FlyAway, and transit– are disincentized. For example, LAX collects $2.50 every time a cab enters the airport, but there is no charge for private vehicles to enter the LAX circle and the immediate roads into LAX. Colleen’s main recommendation is to increase the viability of alternative ground access options by: 1) decreasing the cost of other modes relative to the kiss-and-ride mode and 2) increasing transit options through collaborative, regional approaches.

Two interesting things I learned that I didn’t know:

1) The “non-commercial general aviation airports” (not LAX, but the other ones – frequented by private jets – including Van Nuys) are a significant source of lead, which is still used in small airplane fuels. Scary that we still haven’t learned the lesson of lesson of just how toxic lead is. We, in the city of L.A. should ban it from our airport fuel use.

2) For a lot of air pollution impacting airport communities, car traffic is more responsible than airplanes are. So, to get a handle on airport pollution, we need to look at things like TDM (Transportation Demand Management.) We need to look at getting more people to the airport via transit, taxis, and bicycles… and fewer “kiss-and-ride” drop offs.

Looking forward to reading the finished study and to making progress on solving these important issues.

updated 13 April 2010 9pm

Coalition for Clean Air's report: Getting to Work: Your clean air commute

Coalition for Clean Air's report: Getting to Work: Your clean air commute

Green L.A. Transportation Work Group participant (and more often than not host) Coalition for Clean Air has released its new report “Getting to work: Your clean air commute.” The report’s primary author is me, Joe Linton, co-chair of GLATWG.

The report highlights employer best practices for promoting clean air commuting, including: bicycling, carpooling, walking, vanpooling, telework, transit, and, of course, managing parking!

CCA’s Martin Schlageter and I presented the report at this morning’s meeting of the Los Angeles City Council’s Jobs, Business Growth and Tax Reform Committee.  The commitee’s agenda included Council Motion 08-3249, in which the city is looking to set strategies and thresholds for employers throughout L.A. to implement a menu of transportation demand management (TDM) strategies, including pre-tax transit benefits and parking cash-out. Speaking in favor of the council motion and clean air commuting were City Controller Wendy Greuel, Samuel Garrison of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and Jason Elias of the Service Employees International Union. The motion now goes to the full city council.

Here’s the power point presentation we gave today, the full report is available here.

Committee Chair Honorable Greig Smith, with Coalition for Clean Air's Joe Linton and Martin Schlageter

Committee Chair Honorable Greig Smith, with Coalition for Clean Air's Joe Linton and Martin Schlageter