What to do, if anything, about leaf blowers in town is back on Tuesday night. It was a hot topic back in June on the Voice and was one of Ricardo Ortiz' best zingers during the election. The council took it off-line back in August to study it and have come up with the following results. They current proposal is to divide the city into sections and limit each section to a different day of the week per this map.
The study notes
This approach does not distinguish gasoline from electric, nor does it completely prohibit the use of gasoline blowers. The thinking was that although electric blowers do not add carbon monoxide to the environment they stir up as much dust and allergens and are almost as noisy as gasoline powered blowers. Given the concerns and cost implications of the switching to electric blowers for the professional gardeners the consensus of the committee was to minimize the hours of the week that residents are exposed to any type of mechanical leaf blower.
Of course, the challenge is "which problem are we trying to solve?" since some want to stop carbon emissions, some want to reduce the ambient dust from any type of blower and some worry only about the noise. The gardeners have to worry about scheduling not just B'game customers, but the surrounding towns' customers in the same day, along with rain, sick days, holidays and, of course, the cost of going to electric. Furthermore, they worry that battery-powered blowers won't last for a full day of work so that would require homeowners to add front and back electrical outlets that are estimated to average about $1500 per home.
I happened to be in a San Diego neighborhood back in September and the gardeners were using battery-powered blowers. I have to admit they were very quiet and appeared to be as efficient. We will see what comes out of the study session on Jan 3rd, but several well-informed wags in town think the different-day-per-section of town idea is crazy and unenforceable.