"As a founding member of the Spare the Air Program aimed at encouraging motorists and commercial drivers to turn off their engines when in the secondary areas and parking lots, this new no idling policy makes sense for the Peace Bridge and is an extension of our ongoing efforts to address emissions in a constructive and practical manner," said PBA Chairman Sam Hoyt.
An implementation program – which will include new signage, communications, staff education, and agency engagement – will be formulated by the PBA to help execute the "no idling" zones policy. Hoyt says the policy will apply to duty free stores and post inspection areas, but not those waiting to pay tolls or be processed.
This announcement follows similar environmental stewardship initiatives recently undertaken by the PBA. For example in July 2012, the PBA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced a new air monitoring initiate at the Peace Bridge, in order to better assess local air quality in the vicinity of the crossing. In addition, the PBA and the DEC have teamed-up to target Peace Bridge corridor emissions violators through a series of ongoing compliance sweeps by Environmental Conservation Officers. These sweeps include periodic inspection checkpoints as well as new signage and violation fine warnings.
Hoyt notes, however, the PBA does not have the power to issue tickets to violators. "But I doubt anyone will defy somebody who works for the authority as far as complying with the policy," he adds.
The policy will begin next week, once signage is up.