Minneapolis drivers: no idling for you


You there. Yeah, you: the guy lounging on you futon in unabashed warmth as your Grand Am idles quietly outside in the driveway, its frigid interior presumably warming up. You might think you're doing nothing illegal. But you'd be wrong.

Back in the warm, halcyon days of June, the Minneapolis city council passed an ordinace that prohibited letting you idle for more than three minutes. (That is, when the temp is over zero fahrenheit and you're not, you know, stuck in traffic).

The premise behind the ordinance was simple: car-idling poses a threat to the environment by spewing unused greenhouse emmissions. Which it certainly does, but no more (in fact, less) than that of aimless driving/joyriding/cruising/what have you. So the whole idea struck us, at the time, as a wee bit silly.

But now it just seems irritating. Much like the city council, we underestimated just how friggin' cold 10 degrees fahrenheit really is, especially with an expletive-inducing 20 mph wind gust stabbing your face.

To be fair, the ordinance appears to be more of an educational, norm-establishing guideline than overzealous clamp-down. (Offenders are more often than not sent letters-of-warning in lieu of penalties). In fact, the number of people facing fines can be counted on one hand.

Even so, we're not digging the council's idle thoughts. What say you? Weigh in on the matter in the comments section below. [Looks like another discussion is already ragin' here. Ignore them! Don't click here!]