In Depth: LA viaduct project, solar streetlights, tree equity

Segment One- Viaduct

LA City Engineer Gary Lee Moore joins Hal at the construction site to discuss the progress of the rebuilding of the Sixth Street Bridge. He talks about what made the old viaduct special, the movies and TV shows it had been seen in, and why it ultimately had to be torn down. He explains the features of the new bridge and why it will be better. He is anticipating an opening this summer, with a big party for the bridge’s initiation.

Segment Two - Solar Streetlights

Miguel Sangalang, The General Manager of the Bureau of Street Lighting joins Hal to discuss the Solar Street lighting pilot program. Sangalang explains that a rash of copper thefts- frequently from streetlights and electrical boxes, has left many streetlights in the dark.  The solar streetlights have their batteries near the top, to discourage thieves, and would not only be less vulnerable to copper theft, but would also help reduce the city’s carbon footprint along with being less vulnerable to natural disasters. He tells us where the current pilot program lights are located, how they work, and what the city plans going forward.

Segment Three- Tree Equity

Greg Spotts, Chief Sustainability Officer and Assistant Director, Bureau of Street Services talks to Hal about L.A.’s trees. He says there are trained arborists who canvass the city, counting and logging trees. They identify the empty spots where new trees can be placed, and keep tabs on the city’s trees in an online database. Spotts says the city is trying to make sure that trees are distributed equally to the various sections of the city. He says the sections of L.A. that have fewer trees are the areas which were originally victims of ‘redlining." That was the practice, starting in the 1930’s of making it more difficult for neighborhoods of minorities and poor whites to get home loans, leaving them economically disadvantaged. The city is striving to make sure that more trees are planted in those neighborhoods. The trees make a significant difference in urban heat, clean air, and human wellbeing.

Segment Four- Wrapup

Hal promotes his podcast and we end with a view of the animation of the new Sixth Street viaduct project.

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