The Carmaggedon stats came out again today: There was an 83% improvement in air quality within 10 miles of the 405 freeway closure  in 2011 and a 25% improvement in air quality throughout the region. The 405 is one of the busiest freeways in the world. On an average weekend about 500,000 cars drive the 10-mile stretch of freeway that was shut down.

Said Suzanne Paulson, a co-author of the UCLA study: "The air was amazingly clean that weekend. Our measurements in Santa Monica were almost below what our instruments could detect, and the regional effect was significant. It was an eye-opening glimpse of what the future could be like if we can move away from combustion engines." UCLA did not do a follow-up study this year.

The story was in the newsletter of the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee. The MSRC is composed of representatives of four Southern California county transportation commissions and other local government officials, and distributes funding from AB 2766 fees collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles for clean air projects.



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