Happy Holidays: A hellish downtown vignette
Original post made by Still Coughing on Dec 7, 2006
This charming little scene took place, ironically, under the shadow of the enormous banner strung across Santa Cruz Avenue: Shop Menlo Park -- Buy Locally, Support Local Economy. Although I had planned to stop at at least two more shops before leaving the area, I instead dashed straight for my car and fled the scene, still coughing.
Menlo Park came close to banning leafblowers a few years ago, and I -- and I'm sure most other people with asthma and other respiratory problems -- am so sorry the ban wasn't enacted. I am still coughing.
The only aspect of this sad scene I was able to smile about was this: After I was past the blowers (though not past the pollution), I heard a horrific shrieking -- so loud it pierced through the brutal noise of the twin blowers. I stopped, looked back, didn't see anything. But just as I started walking again, I heard the shrieking again, and whipped around to see a short, elderly woman at Doyle Street, trying to walk onto Santa Cruz, screaming at the men to turn the damned machines off so she could pass. They did. And in my mind I thanked this outraged woman with the heroic lungs. She screamed for me.
on Dec 7, 2006 at 4:16 pm
I feel your pain. Not only do those of us with respiratory complaints hate leaf blowers, so does anyone who 1) dislikes horrible noise 2) practices organic gardening 3) has healthy lungs and would like to keep them that way.
One of the more minor menaces of modern life, but a scourge, nonetheless.
Then-councilman Steve Schmidt was a big supporter of the leaf blower ban, but leaf blower manufacturers poured a lot of money into a campaign to defeat Menlo Park's proposed ban.
on Dec 7, 2006 at 4:44 pm
I have to disagree with Allergy sufferer on one point: Leafblowers are a major, not minor, menace of modern life. I'm a die-hard walker. Alas, I'm afraid "die-hard" may one day become a literal description with all the fumes and dust in the air from leafblowers, because I also have asthma. I often walk with a handkerchief in my hand, which I regularly have to raise to my mouth and nose to breathe through when I walk past a yard where gardeners are working (or when a diesel truck or Mercedes drives by). Leafblowers are one more example of the insanity of a world in which profits trump the needs of people.
on Dec 8, 2006 at 9:04 am
I don't like leafblowers. They never made sense to me. Blowing dust and leaves to the next neighbor will only prompt them to have their dust and leaves blown back. The debris needs to be thrown away, not brushed under the rug.
When hiring a gardening service, all of us should ask for no leafblowing.
The hiring parties are the ones to be responsible... not the leafblowing manufacturers... not the gardening services