LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With California taking steps to reopen after shutting down to slow the spread of coronavirus, the freeways are getting more crowded, which will inevitably lead to more pollution.
So Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu wants to create incentives for businesses and government officials to continue working from home to keep greenhouse gases out of L.A. skies.
“Los Angeles has learned a lot since the start of the coronavirus pandemic,” Ryu said. “…We can learn to live without dangerous air pollution and standstill traffic. Air pollution has been responsible for far too much illness and death in our city, especially among communities of color.”
Ryu’s motion seeks ways for the public and private sectors to adopt remote work, telecommuting and staggered work-day programs, which have been in widespread use since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With so many people working from home, Los Angeles experienced some of the cleanest air in the world during the state’s stay-at-home order. L.A.’s famously gridlocked freeways have also disappeared, leading to some dangerous speeds and police crackdowns on speeders.
Companies like Twitter and Google have already announced their intentions to allow employees to continue working from home to keep them safe from coronavirus. But Ryu says he thinks making telecommuting a more permanent part of the L.A. landscape can not only clear the skies of pollution, but also save employers some money.
“We can build a healthier Los Angeles that tackles the issue of climate change, and it starts with rethinking how we commute and how we work,” Ryu said.