I’ve got a beef with drivers in Seattle. Aside from all the obvious things, like edging out anyone the minute they put a turn signal on, blatantly running red lights, et cetera typical of our fellow Seattlites, I have a beef with idling. Maybe it’s because we have a few Metro drivers who idle for a half hour or more outside our office (where open doors and windows on our office compensate for the lack of air conditioning this time of year… just like they could in vehicles!), or maybe it’s because I have breathed the exhaust from everyone in line while the South Park Bridge (or any bridge for that matter) is up, or maybe it’s because there’s simply no need.
While I am not going to get into the debate raging about the fairness (or lack thereof) for long-distance truckers of these vastly different laws, I do think a general call for common sense is in order. Considering that more than 10 seconds of idling uses more gas than turning the engine back on, that excessive idling damages your vehicle, or has serious health consequences for Puget Sound area residents, it seems like there is little room to debate the basics (I’ll leave the complexities of the professional truck driver debate for another blogger).
Maybe it’s not as appealing in the winter, but for goodness sake it’s been a gorgeous summer. Turn the engine off, roll down your windows and enjoy the clean, fresh air… while we’ve got it. If you’re interested in promoting anti-idling at your child’s school, at your workplace, or just for yourself, check out the resources from local agencies that might help you save gas, maintenance costs, and might help us all breathe a little easier.