City Government

Turned On By Idle Thoughts

While the GUARDIAN takes credit for bringing the issue of idling City cars to the attention of the public–and Boise officials–more than a year ago, Vancouver, B.C. was able to put a stop to wasteful practices without our urging.



On a weekend trip to the big West Coast Canadian town, we noticed signs at various loading zones and areas frequented by delivery vehicles.  Judging from the wear and tear on the signs, it looks like they have been in place for several years.

A year ago the coppers were full of excuses why they had to waste gas.  Monday, the copper’s spokesmouth took the high road and proclaimed the department would endeavor to follow the new ANTI IDLE POLICY we posted last week.

Generally speaking the policy says shut off the engine unless it is needed for emergency lights, etc.  It applies to all of the city’s 1,000 plus vehicles and comes from the new motorpool Czar, Craig Croner.  He says

 the “break even time” for shutdowns is 30 seconds.

Seems like that policy would be good for all of us who use the drive up bank teller windows and dozens of other “stops.”  Good on the city for taking the lead in the effort–even if it took a year.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Shutting my engine off at teller windows has been a pratice of mine for years as well as other drive up windows. What amazes me is the amount of people filling up with gas that leave there car running. I have no problem teling them to shut there big SUV off. They can blow them self’s up, but please leave me out of it. The bigger the rig the more excusses they have. It will get hot if I don’t keep it running (summer time) it will get cold if I shut it off. (Winter time). One lady even said I have my baby inside. I said so now your telling me you want to blow the baby up. She shut it off.

  2. Gasoline is still not expensive enough. If it went for $10/gallon a need for a “policy/policing” of engine idleing would not be up for discussion.

    Looks like the bubble on oil is about to burst. Wholesale prices are down below $120/BBL if you follow this stuff. Fire up the family turckster and get ready to hit the road once again.

  3. I’ve seen similar signs in front of loading sites, passenger drop-offs, etc. in this country.
    And I’ve seen vehicles sitting right in front of the signs, idling.

    We went to the Nampa Stampede. After the rodeo, we walked out into the parking lot and saw long lines of cars, trucks, etc., trying to get out. All were idling — including the ones that obviously had no chance of moving in the next 10 or 15 minutes until the traffic going across the exit cleared up a bit.
    And it was neither hot nor cold — a beautiful evening. So we walked out to our car and stood outside it, chatting, enjoying the evening while watching the other folks watch their fuel gauges head toward E.

  4. Sam the sham
    Aug 7, 2008, 12:56 am

    It appears that Boise drivers have plenty of money for gas as most of them don’t bother to turn off their car engines even when they get out to grab a latte (there is not always a passenger left behind who “needs the AC”) or don’t read signs – as you recall they don’t read “no parking” signs in the city parks. So why read signs that say “turn off your car”?

  5. Tom Anderson
    Aug 7, 2008, 8:17 am

    I get upset when I go to my bank and the people sitting outside in the cars get faster service than those who do the right thing and just by parking the car.

    I make it a point to use the drive through window when on my motor scooter or bicycle, but end up sucking fumes since most just leave their vehicles idling.

    If Dave Bieter had an environmental bone in his body, he’d outlaw drive through windows in Boise.

  6. You people make me sick. Next thing liberals will make police use blanks to scare the bad guys. Wy don’t we just say uncle and let the terrorists win.
    If we dig for more oil the cops can idle again and keep America citizens safe.

  7. On the hottest, most smoggy days in BOI I keep ending up parked next to idiots who are sitting in their cars — checking their email, or waiting for wifey or hubby — with their motors running. Lots of delivery trucks are doing it too.

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