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In Your Opinion: Environmental Commission Letter To Township Council On Anti-Idling Signs

To the Mayor, Council and Township Manager, 

We recently learned that the Township is taking our recommended MV Anti-Idling initiative a large step further.  We have been advised that our DPW is in the process of making new anti-idling signs to be installed in all of our public parking areas throughout the Township.  Manager Vornlocker indicated that if we’re going to require MV No Idling signs for new commercial development we should lead by example which we agree is the perfect leadership approach.  Further, we were advised, Mr. Vornlocker indicated that an amendment to the Township’s Development Ordinance is being drafted to address installing MV No Idling signs as per our recommendation. 

We believe these new Anti-Idling signs will help educate our residents and visitors and hopefully facilitate the reduction of our local air pollution that impacts our highly vulnerable populations, including the elderly and young children as well as the bigger picture of reducing Greenhouse gases that effects climate change.  This could also be a stepping stone for the Council to require that eventually all commercial establishments with dedicated parking areas including; convenience stores, grocery stores and shopping centers as well as schools (where buses are frequently observed idling for lengthy times) be required to install these signs throughout their parking and waiting areas.  We hope this will be considered as part of the amendment to the Development Ordinance.

There is another consideration when discussing MV idling signs in places such as convenience store locations.  There have been many reported incidents over the past several years, throughout the State, of MVs being stolen from convenience store parking lots when people go into the stores while leaving their cars running.  A perfect opportunity for a waiting car thief, another good reason for No Idling signs in these locations, a reminder for people to turn off their engines.

One other thought, if the Township isn’t already acting on this.  We suggest that the Township provide a list, to the County Health Department, of all of the commercial and school properties that will be required to have these signs installed.  That should lead to the County Health Department adding these properties to their list of sites that they monitor under their NJDEP MV anti-idling surveillance program.  

Until we’ve made the full transition to non-fossil fuel vehicles, this initiative would play a critical role in keeping our environment as healthy as possible for our Township residents.

Thank you to the Manager, the Mayor and the Council for accepting our No Idling initiative and making it better. 

Respectfully Submitted,

The Franklin Township Environmental Commission.

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