Laguna Beach Visitor versus Resident Pollution
David Hanssen has an LA Times article trying to count Laguna Beach visitors. The city says 3 million a year. Visit Laguna says 6 million. But there are only 2,000 parking spaces. And only 36,000 to 40,000 trips come in from the canyon or Coast Highway a day. Summer beach attendance is claimed to be 70,000 a day.
These are not necessarily in contradiction, since several people can come in per beach trip in a car. As far as pollution goes, we only need the number of car trips. If we take 100 weekend days, and two months of summer visitors, with an extra 40 days, we have 140 days. At 40,000 cars a day, that is 5.6 million. That amounts to 15,000 a day, just for computational purposes.
To compare that to residents, we take the 25,000 Laguna Beach population, and divide by the standard of three people per household, giving 8,000 households.
Since the visiting car can give twice as much emissions per trip as a resident’s electricity generated emissions, and since there can be twice as many cars a day as households, visitor cars can be four times as polluting as a residence-day.
Of course, residents also drive out of Laguna, and come back.
The good thing about cars dominating the emissions, is that the choice is largely up to the driver as to how fuel saving the car is. Of course, family size and sports equipment hauling will influence the choice. But hybrids are always available. The other good thing is that our local utilities are low emitting ones, if you buy a car that you can charge. For our utilities, the Chevy Volt has equivalent emissions to a car getting 70 mpg. The leaf would get 90 mpg equivalent. The Tesla would get about 80 mpg equivalent emissions.
Here’s where politics comes in. Will the Trump administration keep the national goals for auto fuel efficiency? If they relax them (they will), can California and other blue and green states keep their own stricter standards? The effect of Trump might not take effect for four years, by which time we may have a Democratic administration.