LET Leaf blowers urban rudeness
Newspapers and television news have recently carried several reports of the increasing rudeness and incivility in our society, with irresponsible drivers and obnoxious cell phone users most often mentioned, and no solution in sight.
Yet there is a recent form of urban rudeness, rapidly increasing, which could be controlled by city ordinance. I refer to the use of leaf blowers to do entire lawns, subjecting neighbors far and near, to hours of ear-splitting, incredibly irritating noise, which carries for amazing distances -- easily two-thirds of a mile or more.
One cannot expect the hazards of 1) future hearing loss or 2) inhalation of pollen, fungal spores, dried animal feces and pesticides from the dust to deter those who purchase leaf blowers in the first place. Similarly, the pollution equivalent to several automobiles from gas-powered blowers will not give pause. But It is not too late for a Rochester ordinance limiting this assault on the lone remaining quiet season -- perhaps exempting commercial users. Some communities, especially in California, have banned these unnecessary noisemakers altogether.
There is precedent. Snowmobiles were blessedly and effectively banned years ago, despite many having been already in use.
Too often, Rochester seems to be run for developers and those from elsewhere. Something to improve the quality of life for most of those who have lived here awhile would be a surprise, but a welcome one.