Ben Henderson

As a member of Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee, I would like to give you an update on what City Council is doing on the issue of excessive vehicle idling, an issue about which I am hugely concerned.   

We know that unnecessary vehicle idling adds to carbon emissions and general air pollution. We have asthma rates that are sky-rocketing in both children and adults. As Edmonton becomes a much bigger city with many thousands more vehicles, how do we keep this a clean, healthy place to live?  So far we have an anti-idling campaign that only includes education, with no enforcement measures.

In December, Council asked City Administration to look at models of anti-idling campaigns and enforcement in other municipalities.  In the report back to the Transportation and Public Works Committee on March 4, the City’s Environmental Advisory Committee recommended that we begin public consultation to create our own bylaw that would work for driving conditions in Edmonton. The Transportation and Public Works Committee approved that recommendation and further committed to holding a statutory public hearing on the new bylaw once it is written in November of 2008.

We would need to define what “excessive idling” is. How long and in what circumstances should idling be deemed “excessive”?   Do we want a stand-alone bylaw or something integrated into an existing bylaw?  How would enforcement be managed?

This is an important question and the next step is We need to hear from you! We need to hear from all parts of the public over the next months.