Every summer, New York City’s roughly 6,000 miles of paved roads transform certain neighborhoods into ovens as black asphalt soaks up the heat and radiates it back up.
Now one Brooklyn lawmaker is taking a step to try to change that.
City Councilman Mark Treyger plans to introduce legislation Wednesday that would mark the first step toward coating some residential streets in the five boroughs with a light-gray sealant that would reflect the sun’s rays and mitigate the so-called urban heat island effect.
Such a coating, developed for military air bases, is just one small way to reduce heat islands. Planting more trees, creating parks and covering rooftops with gardens are other effective techniques. But reflective seals on streets can decrease surface temperatures by up to 30 degrees on hot days, a difference that could mean life or death for the hundreds of mostly poor New Yorkers hospitalized each year for heat-related illness.