Comments about ‘Salt Lake City seeks to improve air quality by limiting vehicle idling’

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Published: Wednesday, Oct. 12 2011 5:00 p.m. MDT

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sandy, UT

While limiting idling will cut pollution, I would like to see better coordination of road construction so that there would be better alternate routes. So much of the idling is due to grid locks. Except for rare exceptions no one should be allowed to shut down more than one lane and no 2 road projects should be next to each other.

Also, is it time we just flat out outlaw cigarette smoking? It pollutes just about everything from air to litter, to my lungs. I dislike stop lights because someone usually smoking and it comes into my car and stinks.


This is something I believe we should all be onboard with and one of the most offensive areas of "idling" is in the drive-through windows of restaurants and other businesses around the valley. I think drive-through windows should be outlawed and this would help the overall health of the citizens here by forcing them to park their cars and actually get up off their butts to go in to a restaurant or business to make their purchases.

Herndon, VA

Talk about big-brother government! This is just plain dumb.

This is so much micromagement that revealing that perhaps our leaders have too much time on their hands.

So we're going to go around ticketing people for idling their cars?

So the passer-through freezing in the dead of winter trying to get himself warm by his car heater, the night-time driver far from home wanting to park and read for a few minutes in the safety of his car and by inside light, and the mom waiting for the son outside the athletic event in the cold of winter, are breaking the ordinance and subject to fines and discipline.

Let's apply some common sense here. I highly doubt there will be much reduction in pollution as a result of this ordinance. Please reject it.

Farmington, UT

This is yet another example of City Hall trying to control every aspect of our lives. Are they going to make sure you don't have to wait in line to pay for parking at the SLC International Airport? And what happens when you do and it's cold outside---you need to shut off your car you barely started and are trying to get warmed up a bit for the ride home while waiting through the pay line?

As with far too many SLC regs, this is SILLY.

Time the traffic lights if you want to reduce pollution. (7th East and 4th South, for example.) What about getting out of the parking lot after a U of U Basketball or a Jazz game? (May not be an issue this year, granted, but really...)

I just about thought they'd done everything they could when the City wouldn't let their employees drink from plastic water bottles. Oh well, glad I live in Davis County.....

Jacob's Dad

Some drive thrus are so fast, your tires barely stop moving. What sends more fumes into the air, a ninety second wait in a drive thru lane and idling or turning off your car and back on three or four times during those same seconds? There are blatant idlers and then there are those who are just doing their best to keep things moving in life. It seems like we could just ask people to be more careful, and they would be. People generally want to help out. Do we have to pass laws on everything?

Farmington, UT

What happens if you need to pull over and take an important phone call on your cell and don't want to be talking on the phone while driving.....do you need to turn off your car while on the shoulder of the road for a 3-minute call? If so, aren't you now a hazard if you've turned off the lights and it's a bit dark?

Goofy idea, this proposed ordinance.......I guess maybe the parking cops aren't out after dark in he winter after 6 pm so maybe that isn't an issue, but would it be in the day time? Car heaters don't operate when the engine is off. And it is OK on Sunday or Saturday when the parking enforcers aren't around, or is this 24/7?

Can't SLC just be happy with their new high-tech parking meters and writing everyone that doesn't have a front license plate?

Does the responding Ambulance or Fire Truck have to turn off their engine, too, at the scene of an incident if they are "parked?" Or is it just John Q Public...?

Farmington, UT

Look at the bail schedule: this is just a cheap way to raise revenue. If the City wants people to start visiting downtown, now that the big re-development project is almost completed, they had better make visitors feel welcome. This ordinance isn't it.

I know many of the reservations I have expressed above are "exempted" but if an ordinance requires wholesale exemptions I submit that it isn't a good law in the first place. Back to the drawing board, I say.


Liberal SLC government trying to micromanage, I live in California just look what stupid laws can do to run a state into the ground. Wow who would have thought that SLC would go the way of the crazy democrats. Just a way to collect more money & at one more thing on the back of the people.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This is the sort of wacky stuff Rocky Anderson used to dream up.

The liberal lemmings are heading for the cliff following the latest Pied Piper of the enviornmental wacky scheme d'jour.

They already concede all sorts of exceptions, so numerous that the ordinance will be incomprehensible and unenforceable for vagueness.

A better idea would be for everyone in favor of this silliness to commit to walking or bicycling to work and recreation and save even more heinous emissions. Then, leave the rest of us alone.

By the way, the "Idle Free Utah" group pushing this nonsensical scheme is an official State of Utah government website. Who authorized that, who is putting out all the propaganda pushing this enviro stuff while being paid from our tax dollars? This sure looks like some people and jobs and offices that can be eliminated as frivolous spending in the next budget cycle.

Nanny statism run amok!

Miami Area, Fl

We must find a way to blame this on Obama!

Paul in MD
Montgomery Village, MD

toosmartforyou, if you pull over to the shoulder, for any reason, you should be turning on your hazard lights, which work whether the car is running or not.

Overall, I think this is another case where public education would be a better idea than an ordinance. It used to be that it took as much gas to get a car started as it does to idle for 2 - 3 minutes. Cars have become more fuel efficient, especially during ignition, so it does save fuel to turn the car off rather than idle for more than a few seconds. Most of us are pinched enough already that knowing this would prompt many folks to shut it down and restart it rather than idle so much.

We have a similar issue in our county. The county has levied a 5 cent per bag tax on all plastic shopping bags. They say the county spends $3 million per year picking up litter, and the bags are the bulk of the litter. I never heard that until today. Why couldn't they try and educate people first?

Salt Lake City, UT

Give a 5th grader a calculator and let him/her coordinate the timing of traffic lights in the city. Sitting at lights that could be programmed to sync better is wasting our time and polluting the atmosphere more than a few people idling their cars.

Also, starting from a dead stop is the biggest polluter of them all. So stop strictly enforcing "rolling stops" or "California stops". Most people know when to do a full stop when they see kids or other cars there. if no one is there then keep things rolling! That will make a dent and still be safe.

West Valley, UT

Are they going to retime the traffic lights in down town to eliminate traffic jams? I've sat at some of those for 5 minutes before.

If the City would focus on improving traffic flow all over the valley a lot of this "idle time" could be eliminated.

Start with the traffic lights, then do something about the idiotic construction zones. Work on one section at a time, when it's done move to the next. No need to have lanes blocked off for miles when all the work is being done in a half mile area.

Salt Lake City, UT

If the city were sincere about air quality, it would acknowledge that the REAL idling problem lay with the matchless stupidity of Utah's haphazard traffic control system and its resulting, world-famous red lights. Typically, one can't travel from here to there without spending more time standing at red lights than actually traveling. And each time a motorist is forced to slam on the brakes for a red light, not only is he or she being robbed of precious minutes of his or her lifetime -- and creating smog meanwhile -- they also are having to generate far more smog accelerating back to cruising speed. It is not an exaggeration to say that many times, one will take a trip in Salt Lake City and find EVERY single light red, and having to stop and go over, and over, and over, and over again. And don't tell me intelligent control of the traffic lights is impossible. The technology is there, and it has been done in other cities since the 1950's.

No, this is about greed on the part of the mayor and city council and a new, oppressive way to gouge its citizens and visitors for more money.

Murray, utah

This is a stupid, nutty idea typical of the liberal inner city of SLC. No way to enforce it. Soon you will be required to ride a bike or walk only in downtown SLC. If this looney law passes I will go elsewhere to do my shopping and eating. Mr. Mayor and citi council folks... you will make SLC a ghost town.

Informed Voter
South Jordan, UT

This will be as ineffective as the freeway signs urging people to drive less because of bad air quality that day. Silly. I agree with comments to time traffic lights downtown. Will this be a law we can ignore such as with illegal immigration?

Utah Dad
Salt Lake City, UT

This is a great idea. While enforcement will certainly be an issue, this rule will also serve as an educational tool. People need to learn that not only is idling for more than a couple minutes a WASTE OF MONEY, but it has real negative impacts on our health and the environment. I'm not a fan of government micro-managing our lives, but in this case, the impacts of thousands of cars idling each day affects more than the person in the idling vehicle. I am a father of a (nearly) 2-year old. He's the real reason we need this kind of common sense rule. Thank you Salt Lake City for your leadership!


Micromanagement at it's finest! What's next...Big Brother Government stepping in to control liquor sales?

Salt Lake City, UT

The City Council would do well to read all the above.

Spanish Fork, UT

Leave it to Liberal SLC to come up with new ways to babysit the masses. Here's an idea! Before forcing people to do what you feel is right with a one size fits all law, how about asking residents to try to reduce there idling and give them the reasons behind it. I'm sure that more than a few will be happy to comply.

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