Letters to the Editor

We need 'smart growth'

The Bee published a feel-good article on Dec. 12 about a program to clean up gross polluting cars by Valley Clean Air Now. While no one argues that eliminating 445 tons of tailpipe emissions is a bad thing, your article mentions that more than 100,000 tons of emissions come from vehicles in the San Joaquin Valley each year. The Valley Clean Air Now program will solve less than 0.5% of the problem.

I would like to see an article in The Bee that critically investigates the relationships between land-use decisions in Fresno County and vehicular air pollution. It is disingenuous to laud trivial pollution reductions and simultaneously ignore ongoing suburban development and sprawl that mandates auto use, and hence increased pollution, for the foreseeable future.

If the San Joaquin Valley really does want to face our air pollution problem, the first thing to do is to stop permitting and subsidizing suburban housing developments and start instituting smart growth land-use policies that provide transportation options other than single-occupant vehicles.

Stephen Lewis