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January 7, 2011

Will the leaf blower debate heat up in Walnut Creek with a new petition drive?

So far, Concerned Citizen, the mystery organizer of this petition drive, has gathered 49 signatures calling for a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers in Walnut Creek city limits.

The petitioner is hoping to gather 10,000 signatures. The petitioner certainly has a ways to go, and so far a fair number of the signatures come from people outside of Walnut Creek. But these things can take time, the Quiet Orinda folks told me at one point.

Once the petitioner reaches the 10,000 mark, the petitioner will present the signatures to the City Council and to landscapers who use leaf blowers to clear clients' yards of leaves and other debris.

It will be interesting to see how far the petitioner gets with this, and I'd love to find out who this mystery person is. So call or email me!

A lot of my neighbors use leaf blowers, and a lot of my other neighbors hate them. Here's the video I shot of the leaf blower guy doing his work in my cul-de-sac. The video is not so great, but the sound! The sound!

Let the leaf blower debate begin! Hey, maybe Walnut Creek can earn its way into the feature well of a national magazine, as Quiet Orinda did with The New Yorker. I always want to find ways to push Walnut Creek into the national consciousness, especially on issues pertaining to suburban life.

Here's some of what the petition says:

"We should not have to tolerate the deafening sound of leaf blowers outside our homes every single day of the week. Not only do they disturb the peace but according to Quiet Orinda, a group that is raising interest in the subject, they "pollute the air with unburned fuel and hydrocarbons." As well as pollute the air by blowing "matter containing animal fecal matter, molds, spores, fungi, diesel soot, and many allergens," into the air.

Being forced to tolerate this type of sound at the level it is produced, for extended hours, on a daily basis is unreasonable. There are alternatives that are cleaner, quieter and more considerate of the residents, whom the service is intended to assist."
video

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad that there's not a ban against wind driven leaf blowers.
- mother nature.

LeftCoast said...

The noise is a real pain and I'd sign the petition. The real issue for me though is that we are paying these people to clean up and instead all they do is blow the leaves all over the place and make it someone elses problem. Use a rake and do what you are paid to do, bag it and haul it.

Anonymous said...

It is funny- the first time I read about this I thought, "How ridiculous!". After being woken up the past to mornings at 7:30 due to a leaf blower, I'm on board!

John said...

I own Walnut Creek Pool Cleaning Service (925)309-6135. I love the leaves, It's great business for me!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I miss rakes. They're quiet, and they don't blow the leaves into my yard instead of bagging them up where they belong.

Kris said...

I would say that a total all out ban is a bit ludicrous. A more reasonable position would allow use during a specified time frame, disallowing it during spare the air days, etc.

steve said...

They don't have to be that noisy, but they are. I wonder if anyone makes a quite one that doesn't put off so many toxic fumes. They could have mufflers and smog controls on them as well. I'm not for banning them, but I am for pressuring manufactures to at least reducing the noise level.I also would support an ordinance on the ones are above a certain noise threshold, which would include must current models.

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