Tuesday, June 9, 2015


It's killing me.  Actually, it's killing all of us.  Slowly.

I stopped by a jobsite for work yesterday to find the project super in a trailer with the AC set on "pre-1900 Antarctica" and his pickup idling outside.  WTF???  PICK ONE.

Also seen idling...EVERYONE. 

Friends and I met in Portland, OR and made a visit to Multnomah Falls.  I lost count on how many people were sitting in cars in the parking lot with the engines idling while they texted and chatted.  Not only were they wasting petrol, they were also blocking parking spots much needed by the folks crawling slowly by for 2-3 miles hoping for a parking spot.  They could have at least driven somewhere not crowded to idle and text.

Then last evening I walk to the laundromat to find 1 vehicles IDLING in the lot.  The laundromat was not crowded. 100% of the people using it at that time who were not me, had a vehicle idling in the lot.  One guy was in his car with the AC on using an electronic device.  The laundromat is air conditioned.  The other car had a baby in a seat and a toddler in there in the back seat.  Idling, lights on.  Parents INSIDE the laundromat in an area with no view of the parking lot.  So, wasting gas and endangering children!  Win Win!

Seriously people.  It's OK to get out of your car.  Even when it's hot out.  Also OK to shut it off.


Angela Gulick said...

I agree! When I lived in AK, I lived in an apartment that was on top of a three-car carport. If you think idling cars are bad in the summer, try living directly above a place where people start their cars and then let them run for 20-30 minutes before going anywhere. More than once, my carbon monoxide alarm went off during those long, exhaust-filled winters :(

Where I really notice it is in semis. I often will be at a rest stop while travelling, and inevitably, there will be 2-3 semis parked and idling. Is there something about a semi that makes it necessary to idle like that? And I primarily drive during the day, so I don't think it was drivers who were sleeping and maybe wanted to keep the air conditioning running all night.

Jill said...

The semi's actually DO need to idle sometimes. If the trailer is climate controlled or has electronic equipment (like those mobile boob-matic mammogram trailers) that shouldn't be shut down, then they idle to keep systems going.

The 20 minute warmup though...doesn't actually do much. Most engines don't warm up well at idle. They need the strain of movement down the road to warm up.

Last night at the laundromat we featured a woman idling a HUGE pickup truck, probably deisel, while she sat in the driver's seat texting and smoking (windows up...for the AC no doubt) and a toddler in a carseat right behind her, watching some DVD screen. I went in, did my laundry and left and they were STILL THERE. I could barely make out the occupants through the cigarette smoke filling the cab. Cripes.