Developing Environmentally Sustainable Approaches to Maintaining Roads

The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA) maintains 23,000 miles of car, bike, and pedestrian lanes per year. After power generation, paving streets is the second leading producer of greenhouse gas in a municipality’s operations. Revamping operations to help mitigate climate change would be daunting and costly. StreetsLA employs about 1,200 vehicles, many of them diesel, and the composition of asphalt and concrete has changed little during the past 50 years. Nevertheless, StreetsLA is committed to finding new ways to pave roads, bike paths, and sidewalks and reducing its impact on the environment.

To support this work, StreetsLA is partnering with FUSE Executive Fellow Susan Tarka Sanchez to assess the environmental sustainability of its operations and make recommendations for reducing its carbon footprint. The assessment will cover equipment and materials, and possibly facilities. Susan will also begin implementing the recommendations, develop a plan to evaluate changes, and build in sustainability. The results could be used as a global model for cities to improve how they maintain their roads and pathways.