Air Pollution

Adding Muscle to Toronto's Idling Bylaw

By Ben Bull
Published April 26, 2010

I like to breathe. Preferably clean air. But that's not always possible, is it? Smog days abound, especially in the hazy summer months, and, as I walk around the streets of Toronto it's clear that many motorists don't seem to care.

There's a busy daycare at the top of my street. Every morning and afternoon busy Mums and Dads pull to the curb and shepherd their little tykes into the centre. They usually leave their engines running.

I have to walk past this daycare two or three times a day - on my way to work, taking the kids to school. The fumes aren't pleasant. So I popped in there the other day and asked the manager to have a word with the parents. She said she would.

We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, the rest of Toronto idles away. Clearly, we need more enforcement. Today's Toronto Star features an intriguing anti-idling suggestion from Toronto Board of Health Chair John Filion:

Toronto's efforts to stop unnecessary vehicle idling are "toothless" and are being ignored by motorists, says the chair of the city's board of health.

The board is looking at reducing the time motorists can legally idle to just 60 seconds. The current bylaw allows three minutes of idling time before a motorist risks getting a $125 ticket.

But a tougher bylaw can work only if it's backed up by strong enforcement...the way to do that is to turn enforcement over to the "Blue Hornets," the police parking enforcement unit that writes tickets.

Now there's an idea to help us all breathe a little easier.

Ben Bull lives in downtown Toronto. He's been working on a book of short stories for about 10 years now and hopes to be finished tomorrow. He also has a movie blog.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted April 26, 2010 at 23:03:33

Or you can just vote for the mayoral candidate (name escapes me) who wants to give guns to by-law officers. That'll get 'em to turn those engines off! :)

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By zookeeper (registered) | Posted April 26, 2010 at 23:41:41

You mean Giorgio Mammoliti. Proof that trolls don't only live on the internet.

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By lives in a zoo (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2010 at 19:24:37

yeah give it to the blue hornets, as if they can enforce anything when someone drives off

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