For the 700,000 people who live in DC, some to-do tips. For all you other Americans, some points to study.
Thank you for your continued leadership on this issue. In Pensacola, Florida, we're still lagging in our civic obligation to address this issue as a community. Yesterday, 4 gas leaf blower operating simultaneously at one property in addition to a 2-stroke trimmer. Not one worker was wearing hearing protection of any kind. This must be a form of insanity, as the dust plume created could not be ignored by any conscious person, neighbors walking pets had to deviate, and the noise carried for blocks.
I wrote the landscape business owner about the problem (one of the largest in town), and politely asked him to ease the noise and follow reasonable 'best practices' recommended by leaf blower manufacturers. "We're operating within the hours of the cities ordinances, thus there is no issue as far as I am concerned," he responded. And he continued: "I am a busy man with a lot on my plate. I respect your concerns and admire your beliefs but I don't want you bothering me personally anymore about it."
Attitudes like this reveal local leadership is necessary to bring about healthful change. Hip hip hooray to Councilmember Mary Cheh, and your team of engaged citizens!
I just got our city's bi-monthly newsletter in the mail, and found out that the city council had passed a gas-powered leaf blower ban in February. Yay, Pasadena [CA]. Timing of two-step implementation (the city & its facilities will go first, followed by everybody else) to be determined. Thanks for the advocacy.
20 years ago I was teaching at a school in Central Florida; I once pointed out a common flaw of human nature by saying, "If there was a huge pile of grease on the floor in the middle of the entryway such that you had to carefully walk around it while entering the school, and no one touched it for 5 years, and a new principal came along and immediately had it cleaned up, I guarantee someone would complain." What is it about us that makes us determined to stick with what "always has been," when change is so refreshing and beneficial?
Where is the down side of getting rid of these noise- and air-polluting dinosaurs? The new equipment is quieter, cheaper, and more efficient. It's better for the workers, for the customers, for the residents - how many times have we been disturbed by the outrageous noise of the blowers, weed-eaters, and large mowers that are ubiquitous in every modern culture on the planet? And yet there exist thousands - millions - of people who continue to complain about getting rid of those horrible antiques.
It's clearly a form of insanity.
As a car nut, and a lover of automotive art--something that used to exist (there are cars from that era in MoMA)--I disagree with your comment about tailfins. In fact, I have a photo which I took of 1959 Cadillac tailfins in my living room. The real problem with those behemoths of that era was their size and weight and gas guzzling. Those problems still exist today, in the form of SUVs and pickup trucks that have special, more lenient regs on gas mileage.
Kudos for all your work on leaf blowers. I'll be posting this piece in my neighborhood listserve.