I walk out of my small three-story apartment building located in Ridgewood on a Sunday morning to see a man sitting and texting in his idle car. He is not the first to take advantage of this open space, guaranteed by a fire hydrant on the sidewalk, making it illegal to park in this space. I am now aware that this car is not simply taking the opportunity of an open parking space, but rather, it poses an idle threat.
George Pakenham’s Idle Threat exposed the impact of idling on the environment and to the air quality in metropolitan areas, specifically, New York City. The issue is expansive. This week I have begun to notice this widespread issue each place I go. I have even been the cause of this issue, having an Uber idle outside of my pickup point as I finished getting ready to leave. But, I am left with the question of how to solve this problem we are faced with. George Pakenham goes into the problem by first addressing the individuals idling their cars on the streets of his neighborhood in New York City. From the successes and failures of these confrontations, he carried on to take larger steps to make the issue more public. The movement has been addressed with speakers, his short film, and with court testimony.
I found this issue hard to address, even in my own neighborhood. I felt it was invasive to take photos of these idling cars, even in their moment of wrongdoing. I am not sure if this is an issue that should be monitored by the public, by the police, or by the drivers themselves. I do know that idling is a major threat to us as New Yorker’s and that we must stop it together.