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L.A.’s bright idea: Paint streets white to fight global warming

Los Angeles paints streets white to reduce effect of 'heat islands' (Photo: LA Street Services)

Los Angeles paints streets white to reduce effect of ‘heat islands’ (Photo: LA Street Services)

Never mind that incredible glare when you’re trying to navigate your vehicle down Los Angeles streets on a hot, sunny day – the city insists on painting its streets white to fight climate change.

LA Street Services began the street-painting project last May after testing revealed the paint reduced road temperatures by 10 degrees. The product is meant to reduce the effect of urban “heat islands.”

The coating isn’t actually white. It’s a light gray product called CoolSeal, and it’s manufactured by GuardTop.

But whatever the color, the effect is certainly blinding.

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And it costs a pretty penny, too. Each mile of CoolSeal coating costs $40,000, and two coats last up to seven years. T

he product is sprayed onto the roads and spread across the surface with squeegees.

(Photo: LA Street Services)

(Photo: LA Street Services)

“CoolSeal is applied like conventional sealcoats to asphalt surfaces to protect and maintain the quality and longevity of the surface,” the company website states. “While most cool pavements on the market are polymer based, CoolSeal is a water-based, asphalt emulsion.”

Officials believe the coating will reduce temperatures in locations where it is applied. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that dark asphalt can add as many as 22 degrees Fahrenheit to air temperatures compared with areas that do not have asphalt.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is a key advocate of street painting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change is a fact of life that people in Los Angeles and cities around the world live with every day,” Garcetti said in 2017 after President Trump announced he would abandon the Paris Climate Agreement. “It is a grave threat to our health, our environment, and our economy — and it is not debatable or negotiable.”

(Photo: LA Street Services)

(Photo: LA Street Services)

The idea has been met with mixed reviews.

Actor and producer James Woods was unimpressed.

“But don’t fix the seven million potholes,” he tweeted.

Other Twitter comments included:

  • Now this is funny. – Mjkath
  • $40,000 per MILE!!! But a one-time cost of a wall to protect Americans is too expensive? OMG, what has the average temp increased in the past 50 years? Liberalism is truly a mental illness. – OctoFrizz
  • They’re gonna blind the drivers in the sun! – itstime forchange
  • And, it’ll make it easier for the gangs to mark their territory. Great canvas for graffiti. – Frank Homstad
  • California is broke and this is what they decide to do with their money? 40k per mile?? Los Angeles has around 7,300 miles worth of roads and alleys. A total cost of $292,000,000 in order to lower the temp up to 10 degrees? Hardly worth it. – Brad Compton
  • Yet how many homeless people are living on the streets again? – Marko
  • Add a few drops of rain, and it’s slippery as ice. – Bob Chapman
  • Are they going to issue everyone sunglasses to minimize glare and reduce the number of accidents?!!! – Gary Moscowitz
  • In an effort to combat climate change? It should make it a lot easier to avoid stepping in a pile of poo. – Norris L Forde
  • Dumbest idea I’ve seen yet. – Carter Lea
  • Next black tires will be banned. – Carlos
  • I wonder how many illegal aliens are on that painting crew. – Michael Legris
  • Somebody definitely had a Slow Day at their Think Tank Conference Table. – Ronald K. Smith
  • Is there a book on bad ideas that California uses to run its state? – Rickie
  • Good luck with that! – Jeff Williams
  • I think California may have passed the point of no return. No more federal money. Just go it alone. – Sharon Blank
  • Stupidity at its best… climate change cannot be fixed with reflective paint. All they are doing is dropping the temperature of the sidewalk areas by reflecting the suns rays back into the air. Waste of money and does nothing to fix the issue. – Big Jim
  • Someone is getting a nice kickback. – Larry Knowles
  • This has to be fake news… they would never paint anything white here in CA and say it is good. – MamaC

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