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Pacoima neighborhood tests out cool pavement aimed at keeping streets cooler

Community project looks to keep Pacoima neighborhood sidewalks cool
Community project looks to keep Pacoima neighborhood sidewalks cool 02:53

A Pacoima neighborhood is feeling a lot cooler during the dog days of summer thanks to a community project. 

The area surrounding Hubert Humphrey Park in Pacoima was selected to test out a new street coathing substance aimed at lowering the temperature of asphalt and cement.


The first-of-its-kind community project is lowering the air temperature for a community in Pacoima, considered one of the hottest parts of Los Angeles. 

"It's about 20% more cooler here than there," Antonio Perez told CBSLA Reporter Joy Benedict. 

All the asphalt and cement in the 10-block area around the park have been coated with street bond coating - a solar reflective treatment.

"My feet do feel cooler, Yes! You can instantly feel the difference from the soles of your feet," Melanie Torres told Benedict. "I think it's great. Pacoima is one of the largest hot zones in LA so we were fortunate to be selected."

A huge relief for many residents in this neighborhood where not every home has air conditioning. 

The neighborhood was selected by GAF to be a cool community project. The roofing and water proofing manufacturer chose the neighborhood to test out its product. 

The goal: to see if the street bond substance could actually lower the temperature over the course of a year. 

Jeff Terry is the vice president of sustainability at GAF. He said that if the coating can keep the surface cooler during the day, our body's and buildings won't have to work as hard to cool down overnight.

"It limits the amount of heat and energy absorption into those hard surfaces," Terry said. "Those building and homes have to keep working harder and harder so you get increased energy use and carbon impact associated with that."

Benedict checked out the effectiveness of the coating for herself and noticed a drop in temperature by 9-10 degrees. 

Though the thermometer of the street registered closer to 130 degrees Wednesday afternoon, Benedict spotted the drop in temperature after walking to the area of the asphalt covered with the cooling coating. 

"We find other ways to mitigate the heat. But there's not a lot of options that we have here in our community," Torres, a Pacoima community activist, said.

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