November 18, 2008

Inside Air Quality: Demanding Developers Take The Responsibility

"A proposal [sponsored by Supervisor Tom Ammiano] would force developers of multiunit buildings along city streets with the heaviest clouds of pollution to make sure the air inside those facilities is clean, under legislation scheduled for a vote today by the Board of Supervisors."

"The worst air quality exists around U.S. Highway 101 and interstates 280 and 80. Sections of The City’s busiest corridors also exceed the [0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of roadway-specific particulate matter] threshold, including streets in downtown, stretches of Geary Boulevard and California Street, Lincoln Way and 19th Avenue."

Filthy air clogs lungs, forces action [San Francisco Examiner]

First Published: November 18, 2008 6:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

I'm all for breathing clean air, especially with my allergies. I wish they provided some sort of "heat map" so we could visualize where the bad air is in the City.

I've always been curious about the area directly underneath the Bay Bridge... like where BridgeView and PortSide are. Wouldn't those particles just rain down all day long over there?

Posted by: Binnings Team at November 18, 2008 7:13 AM

maybe they will finally get rid of z-ducts for fresh air.

Posted by: Dede at November 18, 2008 7:55 AM

As far as I can tell, the worst air in the City is right here: View Map.

You can't tell from the map but it's actually in a little depression that concentrates 280's noise and nastiness. Houses never should have been built here.

Posted by: Sb at November 18, 2008 8:50 AM

I used to live in SOMA, just off 8th & Folsom, and as soon as I moved away from that freeway my "allergies" got a lot better. My old apartment down there used to get a nice layer of dirt from all the exhaust from 80 and from the backup of vehicles idling in traffic on 8th street whenever there was a bridge back-up.

Posted by: Rillion at November 18, 2008 9:31 AM

Why are landlords exepected to do the fix? If I were to rent next to a freeway I would expect nasty air. The hostility in this city towards landlords is incredible. And, you can bet that the rent control board will not allow the landlords to recoup the cost of expensive air filtration systems.

Is it a surprise that landlords don't want to invest any more dollars than absolutely necessary in their properties? They are treated like a public service.

Posted by: CameronRex at November 18, 2008 9:49 AM

CameronRex: From what I'm reading in the linked Examiner article, this would only apply to new construction by developers, so unless I hear otherwise I'd assume that pre-existing buildings would not fall under this regulation.

Although I'm not a big fan of the nanny state city government, I don't think this is such a bad idea, since the building code, IIRC, already covers other health-related aspects of new construction.

Posted by: g at November 18, 2008 10:05 AM

One of the reasons I chose not to go with a condo is so I could install a whole-house HEPA-like air filtration system which are supposedly more effective than room models, but also inaudible and out of sight. It requires running the furnace fan 24/7, but you can hard wire that to the lowest setting to reduce energy consumption and noise. Consumer Reports has reviewed all the major brands.

My main concern is the sub PM2.5 exhaust particles from all the nearby roads. There really isn't anywhere you can hide from these in the City east of Twin Peaks, and they're hard to detect.

Posted by: Gdog at November 18, 2008 10:20 AM

Back when I was a kid, we used to sit around breathing in the deisel exhaust. Gas had lead in it, and lots of it. Catalytic converters were for sissies and the air in LA was brown for 355 days of the year.

You wussies are way too pampered.

Posted by: Old Grizzly Guy at November 18, 2008 10:55 AM

Back when I was a kid, we used to sit around breathing in the (sic) deisel exhaust...

Let me finish this:

...sniffing asbestos powder and drinking engine coolant.

You guys were tough.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at November 18, 2008 11:29 AM

Old Grizzly - skyrocketing rates of childhood asthma...rapidly rising numbers of auto-immune it really so hard to connect the dots?

Posted by: David Fox at November 26, 2008 5:44 PM

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