You've heard the joke about hot Arizona streets before.
“Might be a slow fry but you could probably fry an egg,” said David Sailor, director of the Arizona State University Urban Climate Research Center.
But those streets are boiling other things, too, like your tires, your feet and your pet's paws.
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So why don't we just paint the streets white?
“I know there’s been some chatter about it as a result of what’s going on in Los Angeles,” said Sailor.
In Southern California, they've painted some residential streets an off-white color to reflect the sun, and it's something the ASU Urban Climate Research Center is looking at for Phoenix.
While it's great the Valley is growing with newly paved streets, it’s a catch-22.
“A fresh asphalt is really dark. It reflects maybe 6 or 8 percent of the energy content of the sun that hits it,” said Sailor.
The center took pictures above Phoenix last summer where an infrared camera showed how much hotter a new road was compared to when it met older, faded asphalt.
“Almost a 40-degree Fahrenheit difference,” said Sailor.
And if you were to paint that white, Sailor says you could reflect up to 70 percent of the light, making it even cooler. He says one factor holding them back is glare. So in the meantime, the City of Phoenix has been ahead of the game installing reflective roofs for houses and commercial buildings and planting more trees to create shade.
But a fresh paint job is a hot topic among city planners for the near future, and could actually take the heat off.
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