Archive for the ‘Smog’ Category


There’s an interesting story in today’s Montreal Gazette about the impact of idling your car. Besides polluting and wasting fuel, it also damages the car engine because newer cars are designed in order not to have to be idled before you start driving, even in the winter.

Idle Threat

Bylaw rarely enforced. Only 106 out of 1.3 million tickets issued last year were for idling

Andy Riga, The Gazette

With some exceptions, it’s illegal to idle your car for more than three minutes in Montreal. But don’t worry too much about getting a ticket for the infraction.

In 2007 – the first year the bylaw was on the books in most boroughs – only 106 tickets were handed out for illegal idling. Of those, just two were in the downtown Ville Marie borough, the area with the heaviest traffic and most motorists needlessly idling.

They were among the 1.3 million tickets given for non-moving violations across the island.

Despite the low number of tickets, Alan DeSousa, the city executive committee member responsible for the environment, said he thinks the bylaw has reduced idling and raised awareness about its detrimental effects. The practice wastes fuel, causes pollution and creates greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

If Montrealers are ever going to break the idling habit, however, experts suggest the first steps will be to debunk persistent myths about car engines and to convince motorists they should forego the luxury of toasty cars.

The rest of the story is here.


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Take a deep breath


I was out running earlier today when a bus accelerated past me, blowing a big cloud of exhaust in my face. It’s hard to think that running is good for your health when that happens.

When I got home, I heard there was a smog warning for Montreal today and that reminded me of some tips I had read for getting a run in without the harmful effects of air pollution in the city. I usually follow these rules in the summer when the smog warnings come fast and furious in Montreal, but they apply in the winter too.

1. Run early. Air quality deteriorates during the day, so it would be worse to run in the afternoon or evening, especially during rush hours.

2. Avoid running near highways or busy roads. That’s where all the car & bus exhaust fumes are.

3. If the air quality is particularly bad, don’t run at all. Take the day off and hope for better air tomorrow, or head inside and run on a treadmill.

And lastly, leave your car at home and cut down on your own air pollution production!

P.S. The city monitors air quality and calculates an air quality index. Find up-to-date info on this page.

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