Too much idling of vehicles fouling Duncan air
On Monday morning, while I was shopping in Volume One bookstore, the smell of vehicle exhaust began to fill the store. I stepped outside and knocked on the window of the oversized pickup parked outside. The driver, a middle-aged white guy who was doing something really, really important on his phone, lowered the window. Very politely, I said: “Do you realise that your exhaust in going right into the store and it really stinks?” He rolled his eyes at me and put the window back up. Did he turn off his engine? No, he did not. Next, one of the women who works in Volume One went outside and asked him to turn off his truck. She was also very polite, he still refused, and it took until she made a show of looking at his license plate before he drove away. Wow! Imagine being that entitled that you don’t care that you are single-handedly polluting the air of all the people in your local book store, to say nothing of the folks walking down the sidewalk!
Duncan has an anti-idling bylaw, which has been in place for several years now. It isn’t working because I see people sitting in their vehicles, engines running, all the time.
Here’s a fact: Studies have clearly shown that idling for over 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 than restarting your engine. Come on, people, get with the program! Driving vehicles is one of the main contributing factors to global warming. Global warming is destroying the planet, and making the future of ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren precarious to say the least. So do Mother Earth, our little green valley, and the people you care about a favour: Drive only when you have to, and once you get to your destination, turn off your vehicle!
To the commissionaires who patrol the streets of Duncan handing out parking tickets, I hope that when you see cars idling you hand those drivers tickets, too. Expensive ones, so they get the message. But if there’s no commissionaire around and you, fine citizen of the Cowichan Valley, want to make your stand against idling, consider knocking on the window and saying, very politely, that leaving a vehicle’s engine running while parked is against the law. Cite Bylaw 3004. If that doesn’t work, make a note of the license plate and then go to: duncan.ca/city-hall/forms-applications, hit the “issue reporting form” button and make a complaint. Perhaps if the folks who run City Hall get enough of these complaints they’ll start enforcing the bylaw more rigorously.