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updated: 6/12/2014 10:13 AM

Wheeling takes aim at idling vehicles

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  • Wheeling is taking aim at vehicle idling, with a new program that encourages residents and businesses to turn off their vehicles when running them isn't required. The program, which officials hope improves air quality, is mandatory for drivers of village-owned vehicles.

      Wheeling is taking aim at vehicle idling, with a new program that encourages residents and businesses to turn off their vehicles when running them isn't required. The program, which officials hope improves air quality, is mandatory for drivers of village-owned vehicles.
    Daily Herald File Photo, 2009

 

Vehicle idling, considered detrimental to air quality, is under attack in Wheeling.

The village board recently approved a program aimed at reducing idling. Compliance will be voluntary for residents and businesses, but mandatory for village vehicles.

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State law already prohibits vehicles of more than 8,000 pounds -- namely heavy-duty trucks and buses -- from idling for more than 10 minutes per hour when they are parked. The Wheeling program is aimed at vehicles not already covered by Illinois law, according to a memo Village Manager Jon Sfondilis sent the village board.

Policies will direct village staff to turn off vehicles "when running them isn't required for safe and efficient operations," the memo states.

The village also will mount an education campaign, posting signs to remind residents in public places where idling vehicles typically congregate -- village parking lots, the Metra station and parkways by schools. Officials will seek permission from organizations like schools, industrial facilities and retailers with loading docks to post signs on their property.

Village President Dean Argiris gave credit for the idea to MaryAnn Liguori, a resident currently opposing the village's plan to establish a Tax Increment Financing district that includes her neighborhood.

"I do appreciate the village board's initiative on attempting to keep our air quality cleaner for our families as well as our future generations," Liguori said.

Two years ago, Arlington Heights launched a similar campaign to encourage drivers to avoid idling. The Idle Free Arlington campaign includes signs posted at schools and other locations where idling is likely to occur.

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