Guest Blog post by Michael Parada, Communications Manager at Climate Resolve
Climate Resolve is proud to partner with Investing in Place, Slate-Z, and Pacoima Beautiful in the Bus Shelter Blitz project. The cornerstone of our work at Climate Resolve revolves around mitigating the effects of extreme heat in the most vulnerable of communities in and around Los Angeles. We believe in adopting practical and plausible solutions to combat the urban heat island effect, in parts of the city where it is felt the most. LA transit riders’ need for shade at bus stops was underscored by EnviroMetro’s Equity Survey research, conducted in 2018, which sought to determine how Angelenos think Metro should prioritize its future investments.
When the findings highlighted improved bus services as the top priority, participants identified a need for shade structures and seating as the biggest gaps within bus infrastructure around LA County. A lack of shade at bus stops coupled with the rise of extreme heat days rings an alarm for public health risks. Climate Resolve and its partners care deeply about the safety of our region’s transit riders, so we are dedicated to advancing a solution.
To date, Climate Resolve has played two main roles in the Bus Shelter Blitz project: (1) providing scientific data on urban heat exposure; and (2) advising on adding hydration stations at bus stops.
Climate Resolve provided its partners with information about urban heat exposure
This information included maps made for each council district showing the location of existing street trees, the density of existing tree canopy cover, the locations of existing bus shelters, and locations that had been proposed for new bus shelters based on ridership numbers.
Climate Resolve also provided the project partners with an infographic explaining the importance of protecting people from exposure to extreme heat. The graphic suggested solutions that can be implemented at the street level. Our partners reported that the information helped them engage with community members on the subject. See below for images of the analysis that Climate Resolve provided during the initial outreach phase of the project.
Climate Resolve troubleshoots to pilot hydration stations at the bus stops
Ever since initial community feedback started coming in that made it clear that community members would really appreciate having a hydration station at their sheltered bus stop, Climate Resolve has been researching and troubleshooting what it would take to pilot such an installation.
The possibility of including a chiller system to ensure that drinking water is dispensed at a tasty cool temperature was one area of research that has proven difficult to realize, due to manufacturer restrictions on outdoor use. Climate Resolve has worked alongside JC Decaux to identify a range of possible bus shelter upgrades that could be part of this pilot, including cost estimates and considerations that must be taken into account. That information, including renderings of potential hydration station configurations at bus shelters are shown below.
Determining more precise installation costs and procedures for the preferred location(s) is currently underway. Climate Resolve also continues to try to win over the necessary political backing to approve the forthcoming installation expenditure and complete any required permitting procedures.
Together, we are pushing the needle forward to create a more equitable Los Angeles. One where socio-economic status does not determine your right to a comfortable and safe transit experience. While there is undoubtedly more work to be done, we are proud to present our progress.