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I can see for miles and miles

Mt Rainier2

Did you notice how clear Mt Rainier was yesterday?  Well, we have some good news.  According to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency; we can see much farther than we could in 1990.  The average visibility for the Puget Sound area has steadily increased over the last decade (with year-to-year variability caused by meteorology).  For the 18 year period from December 1990 through December 2007; the visual range (based on a 12 month moving average) increased from 46 to 75 miles. This hasn’t always been the case.   In 1990, Mt Rainier was one third less visible than it was 8 years before.  Auto pollution is one of the main reasons.  Many of us at SDOT work to make this city a place where you don’t HAVE to drive; and there are safe and easy ways to walk, bike, and take transit.   Part of our motivation is to help the city be more livable and walkable to protect the environment (and mountain views) we all love.   The reason visibility has improved is due to a variety of factors, including reduced wood burning, but also cleaner burning cars and how we drive.  Now all we have to do is fix this climate problem, and we’re all set.