Predatory “Animals”, A Threat to Outdoor Recreators

Rye seems to be an outdoorsy community of people. Year-round, at just about any time from before dawn until after dark the streets and sidewalks are busy with people jogging, biking, walking to or from the train station/school, power walking, or just casually strolling (with or without a dog and/or infant in tow).

no-idling-3min
Published March 8, 2012 6:05 PM
3 min read

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no-idling-3minRye seems to be an outdoorsy community of people. Year-round, at just about any time from before dawn until after dark the streets and sidewalks are busy with people jogging, biking, walking to or from the train station/school, power walking, or just casually strolling (with or without a dog and/or infant in tow).


By Bill Lawyer

  

car idling closeupRye seems to be an outdoorsy community of people. Year-round, at just about any time from before dawn until after dark the streets and sidewalks are busy with people jogging, biking, walking to or from the train station/school, power walking, or just casually strolling (with or without a dog and/or infant in tow).

 

And then during the months from spring through fall there are all kinds of sports teams making active use of Rye’s many playing fields and parks.

 

The U.S. Surgeon General and the President’s Fitness Council must be very pleased, as all this “recreating” has been shown to be very conducive to good health.

 

But the value of Rye residents’ activity is being threatened by a serious predator in our midst – a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” as it were. But it’s not the coyotes, rabid raccoons, or aggressive dogs.

 

I’m talking here about those cars, trucks, vans, limos, SUV’s, and other vehicles with internal combustion engines that sit idling on our streets, driveways, delis, parking lots, train station, and stoplight intersections. I often see people sitting in their cars at the library/city hall parking lot, reading a book while the engine runs.

 

Why not turn off the engine and go inside and read?

 

These four-wheeled polluters are preying upon the health of Rye’s outdoor “recreators” just as much as any four-legged predators. More so, because while the animals come and go, polluting vehicles are with us every day of the year.

 

In case you aren’t aware of it, Rye’s air, along with that of the entire New York metropolitan area, has already been deemed “unhealthy” by the EPA. 

 

According to the American Cancer Society, studies have linked pollution from vehicles to increased rates of cancer, heart and lung disease, asthma and allergies.

 

Growing children absorb nearly 50 times more toxins per pound than adults, and Westchester County is ranked fourth worst for fine particulate matter in New York State, according to the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County.

 

Without being too morbid about it, one of the most common ways people commit suicide is by connecting a tube to their car exhaust pipe, connecting it into their car with the windows closed and the engine running, and letting the toxins do the rest.

 

By wasteful vehicle idling, we’re killing ourselves in small doses.

 

I’m not really telling anything that most people don’t already know. The City of Rye has an ordinance limiting vehicle idling to a maximum of three minutes. Unlike speed limit and parking limit ordinances, however, we don’t have any signs reminding people about the idling laws. Only Rye’s schools have posted signs – often with illustrative graphics to reinforce the point.

 

It may not do any good to post signs telling coyotes or raccoons to go away, but it might do some good to put up a few well-placed signs telling drivers to turn off their engines when they’re going into the deli or waiting for someone at the train station.

 

Let’s get rid of these poisonous predators and make outdoor living a healthy experience for all of us – right in our backyards.

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