Tuesday, February 17, 2009

23 miles on 1 Bus to Reduce Smog in Boise

I travel frequently to Boise, Idaho from Chicago. Hiking, biking, and enjoying nature are still the biggest attractions of Boise (even though it is the biggest metropolitan city in the state of Idaho). Jenny and I enjoy the nature of Boise on hikes and runs in the foothills. I blogged about this in an earlier post, 2 great mornings in “nature’s water catcher”.

So it was encouraging for me to read the article in the New York Times Boise Region Grapples with Smog, a Growing Threat.

The article says that after years of growth and suburban development, the Treasure Valley region that includes Boise and its suburbs was on the brink of violating federal clean air standards. The solution to that was simple -- although somewhat unheard of around Idaho: drive less and take public transportation. Due to the increasing popularity of the area, there is more business activity, and traffic congestion which has increased pollution causing a turn in weather conditions which trap polluted air in the valley.

Some good news according to our client Leonard Herr, the air program manager for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality: the increase in gas prices and favorable weather last year led to notably lower ozone levels than the summer before. People suddenly began leaving their cars in favor of the region’s limited bus system—so much in fact that the one bus that runs the 23-mile trip from Boise to the outermost exurbs sometimes resorts to standing room only.

Read the full article.

And visit the Idaho DEQ website.

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