As we told you Monday, there's rampant idling going on at Denver International Airport’s 45 Minute Waiting Area, and the folks in DIA’s environmental-services division are waiting to take action – in the form of signs reminding idlers that their irresponsibility uses more gas, harms their vehicles, and, of course, rapes our air.
But the airport's not the only place trying to choke out the earth-battering bastards among us.
According to Denver Department of Environmental Health (DEH), Engines Off, the city's yearlong anti-idling campaign, is setting its sights on diesel buses, trucks and transport vehicles straight chillin’ at the Colorado Convention Center; motor coach, limo, taxi and shuttle companies making the trek to and from DIA for the Democratic National Convention; parents and daycare providers who show up early to schools every afternoon so they can get the wicked-sweet spots while waiting for kids; and “puffers,” people who leave unattended vehicles idling during cold weather.
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Currently, a city ordinance makes more than ten minutes of idling an hour illegal, punishable by a summons and a hardy bitch slap. DEH will propose cutting that in half, making more than five minutes illegal. But don't expect a slew of new signs shaming you into killing your engine.
“Hopefully we’ll just sort of get the word out so there won’t have to be signs all over the place,” says Matthew Marshall, program administrator for Engines Off. “Which is not to say that we won’t be looking at additional ways to get the message out like at the 45 Minute Waiting Area at DIA.”
Here's an idea: Instead of signs, Engines Off and DIA could hire the same self-righteous haters who wave their hands in front of their furrowed faces and make exaggerated coughing noises every time they pass a smoker on the street. They could lurk in common idling areas -- this would be especially funny in pre-school parking lots -- and walk car to car, knock on windows, plug their noses, and generally make idlers feel uncomfortable. It’s only a matter of time until this becomes common practice anyway, right?
Engines off, idlers, or face the wrath of the environmentally passive aggressive. -- Drew Bixby