climate change

LA City Council Authorizes Loading Zones for Zero-Emission Vehicles Only

The unanimous vote on the ordinance will create commercial loading zones for zero-emission delivery vehicles, to incentivize renewable energy use.

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In an effort to encourage clean renewable energy use, the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday unanimously adopted an ordinance to create commercial loading zones exclusively available for zero-emission commercial delivery vehicles.

"Here in LA, we have set very ambitions goals to clean our air before the Olympics comes to town. But setting goals also means providing incentives for people to go green and for the delivery industry, having commercial parking near where you're doing your business, your deliveries, is crucial to maintaining a tight schedule and increasing efficiencies," Councilman Kevin de Leon, who introduced a motion to initiate the ordinance, said before the vote.

The ordinance authorized the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to install loading zones for the "exclusive use and access by zero-emission commercial delivery vehicles."

In a report to the council on April 28, LADOT said it would identify curbside locations in areas that are:

  • high density;
  • subject to high commercial loading zone demands;
  • disproportionately burdened by air pollution; and
  • under LADOT's administrative authority to install, enforce and monitor.

It is expected to cost up to $2,000 per location for an expected initial five locations, according to LADOT.

"Downtown Los Angeles serves as an economic hub for Southern California. With a skyrocketing population and substantial amount of residential and office space under construction, it is getting busier and busier. The large amount of commercial tenants means that there is a large number of commercial vehicles loading and unloading goods for local businesses," according to the motion, which was seconded by Councilman Mike Bonin.

"The goals of achieving 100% clean renewable energy has changed how people and companies think and act when it comes to the environment. Reaching these goals (in California Senate Bill 100) cannot be met unless we change the way we do business,'' the motion continues.

The Senate bill aims to eliminate carbon emissions by 2045. Los Angeles' Green New Deal also calls for powering the city on 100% renewable energy by 2045.

"One objective of the city's Green New Deal is to reduce carbon emissions by expanding zero emission vehicle use. Encouraging urban and long haul delivery companies to procure more zero emission vehicles while still meeting their operational levels will help the city achieve this goal," LADOT said in its April report to the City Council on the feasibility of creating zero-emission commercial loading zones.

"...While the market for zero emission passenger vehicles quickly expanded in the last several years, the medium and heavy duty commercial vehicle segment still lags behind," the report added. "This pilot will send a market signal to vehicle manufacturers and encourage local urban freight operators to transition fleets to zero-emission vehicles to reduce particulate and greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality in Los Angeles neighborhoods."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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