A noisy walk on Highland Avenue — because of gas leaf blowers (Letter to the editor)
Chris Bair via Unsplash
I write this letter as I take perhaps my last morning walk on Highland Avenue until May 16. It saddens me so much that this beautiful road with its native plants and other natural beauty is now invaded by pollution-spewing and completely unnecessary noise machines called gas-powered leaf blowers.
As I walk this morning, some of my fellow walkers are putting their hands over their ears and/or masking up, not due to COVID-19 fears I think, but more likely to keep from breathing in the gas fumes. I am also sorry that many of the vulnerable gas-powered leaf blower operators are not protected with masks. With so many major crises in the world, this may seem like an insignificant issue, but most changes in the way we live and how we improve our society begin at a local level.
The new, more restrictive gas leaf blower ordinance is a good thing, but it has highlighted how wonderful it has been to live without these peace-disturbing, environmentally menacing machines so that the return of them is even more disturbing.
I hope that progressive Montclair can join with other regions throughout the country that are banning gas leaf blowers completely. One of the most effective steps toward improving our environment is for homeowners to insist that their landscapers switch to electric blowers or rakes.
Montclair Local's Opinion section is an open forum for civil discussion in which we invite readers to discuss town matters, articles published in Montclair, or previously published letters. Views expressed and published in this section are solely those of the writers, and do not represent the views of Montclair Local.
Letters to the editor: To submit a letter to the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail "Letters to the Editor," PO Box 752, Montclair, NJ, 07042 (email is preferred). Submissions must include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification. Only the writer's name and town of residence will be published. Montclair Local does not publish anonymous opinion pieces.
Letters must be no more than 500 words in length, and must be received by the Sunday prior to publication to be eligible for use in any Thursday print issue. Letters may be edited by Montclair Local for grammar and style. While our goal is to publish most letters we receive, Montclair Local reserves the right to decline publication of a letter for any reason, including but not limited to concerns about unproven or defamatory statements, inappropriate language, topic matter far afield of the particular interests of Montclair residents, or available space.
Town Square: Montclair Local also accepts longer-form opinion essays from residents aiming to generate discussion on topics specific to the community, under our "Town Square" banner. "Town Square" essays should be no more than 750 words in length, and topics should be submitted to email@example.com at least seven days prior to publication.