Ozone and the Big O
Just last month, the Douglas County Health Department issued smog advisories about the air quality in our fine city.
This should be shocking to residents. Our clear air has long been a source of pride. Willa Cather once wrote: “Whenever I crossed the Missouri river coming into Nebraska, the very smell of the soil tore me to pieces.”
Note she did not say “soot” or “smog,” like more urban areas experience. If you’ve ever been to a big city, you know the effect poor air quality can have on your sinuses. It’s not hard to make the connection between traffic congestion and thick, sooty air, like they did in San Francisco.
We know that no matter if a streetcar comes to Omaha or not, more development is going to happen in our urban core. Under current conditions, this means more traffic, more frustrated drivers, and more hits on our air quality and our health.
Even with very conservative projections of approximately 1,000 streetcar boardings per day, that is still 1,000 less parking stalls used and 1,000 less cars on the road causing congestion and congestion.
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