I rode my bike in to work today instead of riding the bus. About noon I looked outside to see the hazy blue air. I couldn't even see the foothills from my place of work, just a few miles away. On the ride home I saw another bike commuter wearing a face mask. I wished that I was wearing one. Upon arriving home, my sinuses burn. I am not sure the exercise was worth it. Welcome to another orange air quality day in Boise!
Today both ozone and particulate pollution levels were higher in Boise (ozone 90, pm 110) than in Los Angeles (ozone 34, pm 74)! Forest and rangle land fires are the largest culpit, but our traffic congestion played a significant role and our continued hot weather keeps the pollution around. Boise came off the hotest July ever recorded! 8.6 degrees F per day hotter than average. It beat out the previous record which was set just last year. Ouch.
Paired with the warm weather was the worst air quality July ever recorded! 7 Orange days, 15 Yellow days, and 9 green days, although according to the DEQ those were just under the theshold.
What a great day for our governor, driving in a single occupancy vehicle, to determine that there are too many OTHER people on the road. His plan is to have most of the state workers work at home a few days a week. I do applaud his plan, but it would be great to see him lead by example personally (bus and commuterride are available from where he lives), to encourage himself and state works to pursue other options as well as telecommuting (barely mentioned in the article and not by him), and to take a broader view of the problem and address transit solutions for those who must come in to work. At least it's a start.