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. . . And His Clean-Air Plan

Mayor Tom Bradley’s list of 63 steps toward cleaner air for the city of Los Angeles is a recent example of the way he is blending good politics and good government these days.

The list was put together under duress in an effort to satisfy the federal Environmental Protection Agency that Los Angeles is serious about fighting smog, but that fact does not detract from the basic good sense of the list itself.

To begin with, many of the proposals deal with eliminating a need for travel between work and home--something that also would eliminate smog. One step toward that goal would be to require developers of office space to build housing at the same time and in the same general neighborhood as the office space.

Another transportation proposal would eliminate most free parking in the city, including spaces at big shopping malls, except for car and van pools and for cars that park so that drivers and passengers can transfer to public transit. The concept is that high parking charges discourage commuters from traveling alone, thus getting more efficient use of every lane of highway and freeway.

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New construction would be concentrated along the route of Metro Rail and in busy bus corridors, again allowing growth in floor space without a need for growth in transportation.

But perhaps the best thing about the list is that it makes it easier to see on a smaller scale than the entire four-county air basin how little people will have to change the way they live in order to get cleaner air. As with the rest of City Hall’s new look, the list is just a collection of ideas. Translating them into law is the job by which the mayor will be judged in the future.


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