The Infrastructurist notes a new study on freeway pollution:
Living “close” to a freeway means being right next to it, right–like overlooking it pressed up against one of those ugly noise walls? Sadly, no. Researchers at UCLA have found that a large freeway’s pollution plume extends as much as a mile and a half from the roadway–in this case, I-10. “This distance is 10 times greater than previously measured daytime pollutant impacts from roadways and has significant exposure implications.” Those nasty carcinogenic ultrafine particles–not to mention polycylic aromatics–don’t obey the niceties of staying in those close to the roadway. No, the call is coming from inside the house for plenty of rich people in Santa Monica and other communities around the country. Even if you’d never be one of those poor unhealthy schlubs who lives next to a freeway — practically speaking, you’re probably already one of those poor unhealthy schlubs who lives next to a freeway.
Clever When a Stranger Calls reference there, but I found this interesting — not only as someone who lives within a mile and a half of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway trench (I will be buried long before it is), but someone who was recently having some questions about daycare facilities in my neighborhood. One of these has a play area very close to the BQE, and several parents have hinted to me of asthma problems. Correlation is not causation, yadda, yadda, yadda, but in this case I’m less inclined to take this as typical Brooklyn parent neurosis.
But this led me to wonder: Has anyone done a “PollutionScore” application, similar to WalkScore? It would be a nice, and useful, GIS overlay — and why not on WalkScore itself? (as an aside, I’ve noticed that, even within my general neighborhood, which is close to 100 on the WalkScore, the number drops as one heads towards the elevated section of the BQE and the large traffic artery of Hamilton Avenue; and not surprisingly, I try to walk down there as little as possible).
In any case, here’s more on the study.