The City of Edmonton has impressive ambition when it comes to being environmentally conscious and it strives to operate in a fashion that has as little impact on our environment as possible. City Council recognizes that there are opportunities to encourage our citizens to engage in similar environmentally friendly actions, and there has been great debate as to how this might be achieved. One of these opportunities includes reducing the amount of unnecessarily idling by private automobiles. Whenever a topic such as this comes to Council, there is significant concern as to level of restrictions that may be imposed so that there is meaningful impact without drastically changing how citizens can live their lives. Further to this, the ability to actually enforce such restrictions required considerable discussion as well. I too share these concerns.
The result of these debates was the passing of a bylaw (bylaw 15982) that prohibits the idling of vehicles around designated areas found outside of schools and hospitals. This bylaw represents a symbolic message that the effects of idling can have harmful influences not only on our environment, but our health, and that we need to take action to prevent this from happening to the most vulnerable members of our city. It says that there are ways we can reduce harmful activities and that where this is possible, we must do so. At that same time, it is recognized that it would be unsuitable and inappropriate to place such a ban City wide. Rather, educational information is provided to encourage citizens whenever and wherever possible, to reduce the amount of unnecessary idling and with it a reduction of the harmful toxins being released into our environment that diminish the quality of our citizen’s lives. By reducing the amount of idling, citizens will realize a reduction of their vehicle’s fuel that is simply wasted, and with this will realize a savings in transportation costs as they will be forced to fill up their tank less frequently.
I encourage all to visit the link below and find the ways to be as efficient as possible while warming up your vehicle, and at the same time reducing the production of harmful waste. By engaging voluntarily in such a shift in driving behaviour, not only will our environment and quality of life for all Edmontonians benefit, but with it savings to individuals own cost of vehicle operations. This shift can result in truly a win-win scenario for all.