If you’re stopped in traffic for longer than 20 seconds, Multnomah County says you should turn your engine off.
Wednesday, the county launched an anti-idling campaign called “Idling Gets You Nowhere.” Volunteers went car to car during a routine bridge lift, informing drivers of the benefits to turning your car off.
“Idling is right in the middle of two important Multnomah county priorities, one is public health because when vehicles are idling they emit a lot of pollution and the other is sustainability because when vehicles are idling they’re wasting fuel,” said Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen.
The county is encouraging people to turn their cars off at bridge lifts, railroad crossings or at the airport. The county is not encouraging people in traffic jams to turn their cars off.
“Basically what we’re trying to do is to explain to people that idling your vehicle is a really bad idea. It wastes gas, it’s bad for the engine and it’s polluting the atmosphere,” said Cogen.
An enormous banner on the Hawthorne Street Bridge reminds people to turn their cars off.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said driver Andy Nguyen. “Holds true to us Oregonians trying to be more conservative and it’s better for the environment.
“I think it makes sense, it’s good the more we can keep the air clean, save gas and the environment is great,” said Marie Von Walther, who was stopped at a bridge lift Wednesday.
Although the city maintains turning your car off is better on your car’s engine. Several mechanics told KOIN Local 6 Wednesday that repeatedly turning your car on and off wears down its components.