Although the anti-idling bylaw has been essentially tabled for a year at Coun. Andy Adams request, the issue should not be put out of mind for the same period of time.
The idea has merit but enforcing it has to be all but impossible. Do we need something so draconian as a bylaw ordering people to not idle their vehicles so much? Who’s going to run up to a vehicle purring away unnecessarily and write up a ticket?
Make no mistake, vehicle exhaust is a major pollutant. As a letter from Vancouver Island Health Authority to the city’s evironmental commission said ,“Vehicle exhaust emissions are a major source of pollutants that contribute to human health problems and environmental problems such as climate change.” Furthermore, “An anti-idling bylaw can make a significant impact on air quality in the community.”
You can’t argue with that. Reducing vehicle emissions attacks air quality issue at its heart. The majority of air pollution in large cities is caused by vehicle exhaust. Elminate or reduce that and you’ve significantly improved air quality. But there’s a tendency to look at it as a big city problem. Campbell River doesn’t have traffic gridlock during rush hours. However, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reduce our emissions. This is an apple pie issue that you can’t really argue against. Still, Coun. Adams’ contention that there are more pressing issues facing council is also true.
It was always going to be a public education issue anyway and that can start now with little to no investment. This is yet another of the city’s lifestyle-changing policies it has been implementing a lot lately (Dogwood lights, garbage reduction) and is bound to generate more grumbling. But stay the course, set it aside for now but don’t forget about it.