Friday, March 26, 2010

Mountain Town News


Idling cars targeted by law in Jackson

JACKSON, Wyo.—You think one person can't change things? The Jackson Town Council appears ready to adopt a ban on truck and car idling of more than three minutes, similar to a law adopted a few months before in Ketchum. And most of the dots seem to extend to Willie Neal, a popular boy who died shortly after graduating from the local high school last year.

Neal, who won eight all-state trophies for his Nordic skiing, had championed the need to rid the town of unnecessarily idling. Organizing a bake sale, he took the proceeds to distribute more than 1,000 bumper stickers and "No Idling" signs that a dozen businesses have installed. He later was killed while rollerskiing in Maine.

But the cause has been taken up by several organizations, including the Yellowstone-Teton Clear Air Coalition, at least two local doctors and students.

"I think idling is gross, and I wish it never existed,' wrote fourth-grader Marrakech Maxwell, in a letter published in the Jackson Hole News&Guide. "It is scientifically proven that idling is bad for breathing in and out."

Town councilors, as well as the police chief, said the ordinance should be a soft stick. In other words, they hope for education rather than aggressive enforcement.

The ordinance being reviewed would allow drivers to idle if stuck in traffic, when defrosting windows or performing "work for which the vehicle was designed."

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