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November 19, 2009


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G Webb

I agree with your comments on idling. I never warm up my car, as the driveline does not warm up until the car is driven. Instead I just drive slowly until the temp gauge reads normal. BUT, you have not addressed the issue of outside workers who have nowhere but their vehicle to warm up in the winter. I worked for the City for 25 yrs. outside, and refused to leave the vehicle idling unless the flashing lights were engaged. Unfortunately, I had to idle the vehicle during lunch to warm up on cold days. This idling issue needs to be thought through a bit more.


If, in fact this country that we currently live in was actually Chile (i.e. not Canada) I would wholeheartedly agree with you. Since we do, in fact, live in Toronto, Canada where the temparature swings from +35 to -30 I think you've finally lost it. If you are sitting in a vehicle and can't reasonably get out (whether stuck in traffic or whatever) you will find to your amazement that it will quickly get up to 45 degrees or higher even with the windows rolled down on a hot summer day. On a cold winter's day it won't be long before you need a new starter with all the excess cranking you're recommending. Until the car companies upgrade all the starters put in vehicles this could be a costly exercise.

Joe Lynch

Hi Jim,

I was wondering if you could tell me how this would affect the life expectancy of your vehicle. Assuming the experts are right, starting your vehicle is one of the toughest things on your engine. If I were to stop for 1 minute in Toronto, which happens about 3 times a day for about 5 minutes apiece, and I have to re-start my engine after turning it off for only 3-5 minutes, how will this affect my engine over a period of 1 year? Will it affect my fuel mileage down the road? After a 5 year period, would my car be running as clean or as efficiently as it is today?

I also want to note that I frequently travel along Dovercourt Road in the Dundas St. W. area and note Police vehicles idling out front for in excess of 10 minutes sometimes. Don't we all agree that this needs to stop for both environmental issues and tax payers money spent on gas?

Thanks, Jim. Always enjoy reading your point of view...


"Because the City of Toronto keeps doing things like assigning scarce road resources to the half-dozen bicycles which will soon be plying our streets come January and taking those resources away from the twelve million cars that really need them, you might think that The Big Smoke is somehow anti-car."

"If you have any concern whatsoever for the environment, idling is clearly stupid. We have to accept a minor (VERY minor) contribution to atmospheric pollution if we're driving (but probably less than those methane-generating cyclists, all half-dozen of them...)."

Dear Yim (can I call you Yim?),

I understand there is a 'war on cars' underway. This sounds quite unlike most wars - insofar as it is morally urgent and justifiable and necessary. I suggest we reinstate the draft. Do you concur?

Support the troops,
Your Biggest Fan

Jim Kenzie

Hey BFF:

How do you know about "Yim"?

And I'm not sure if we're on the same side in this 'war' Do YOU think the 'war on cars' is morally justfiable??



I mean, Jim.

Sandra Edwards

So how much idling occurs at all those unnecessary stop lights. I frequently drive home around 10 pm at night from dropping my father off at his retirement home. Driving up Brimley Rd I usually end up stopping at red lights when there is no cross traffic using them. And I am not the only car that has to sit 30 to 45 seconds waiting for the light to turn green. There can be 10 or 15 cars waiting for non-existant cross traffic.
I think it is time for the city to start rethinking how they address car issues and start looking for ways to make it better for drivers especially when it can be done without causing difficulties for other forms of transportation. One way would be to have flashing red and yellow lights during weekends and at night (after 10 pm for example)at intersections where the traffic flow is almost all one way. Imagine how much idling that would save.

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