#81 Leaf Blowers

Every year, just after labor day, autumn descends on God’s Country. It is a time when one can finally switch out summer sweaters for winter sweaters! The air becomes crisp and misty! And at least a dozen local hipsters must be rescued from the Sauvie Island Corn Maize. Oh yeah, and motherf**kers start busting out their leaf blowers.

Up and down the streets of Portland walk lazy bastards with the equivalent of a backwards vacuum strapped to their backs, blowing their leaf refuse into the streets. Nothing ruins a perfectly nice fall morning/afternoon/night/midnight than a leaf blower, revved up and spitting gasoline into your face as you walk by. But, you may argue, people all across this great nation use leaf blowers. Why is this something that sucks about Portland? Because Portlanders should know better.

Late 2009, citizens within the city limits of Portland tried to gets these noise/air pollutants banned. Instead, our City Government came up with mandatory decibel levels for leaf blowers. You could now receive a $300-$3000 fine for blowing too loud in Portland. The max level is set to about the sound of a noisy restaurant or vacuum cleaner outside your window. But Holy Hell!!! It sounds much louder and more annoying than Henrys at happy hour… Okay, so maybe not as annoying as this conversation overheard at Henry’s Tavern:

Guy- I work in the M Financial building as a banker.
Girl- Oh that’s neat! I’ve been a stylist for about three years.
Guy- So, what made you want to jump on Match.com?”

Besides the obvious arguments against leaf blowers (loud, noxious, ineffective) there is also the fact that when you choose to live in a “liveable” city, you sign up for certain amount of self awareness for the good of the neighborhood. One such “inconvenience” is to get off your lazy ass and rake your yard! Unfortunately for the people living downtown, you don’t have a say in the ungodly hours that leaf blowers are contracted to operate. So instead of working on a way to ban them, let’s keep doing what every average Portlander does best: bitch about it on the internet!


4 Responses to “#81 Leaf Blowers”

  1. 1 Random Person. 01/17 at 1:33 pm

    Whats worse is the use of them in the city areas, i cant tell you how many times a week i hear a leaf blower in the winter or the summer because they need to have their fix of blowing a twig at mach 100. Give it time and enough bitching and the city will ban it, at least in the off seasons with any luck. Heres an interesting article for people to look at if they think its still worth wild. http://www.terranovalandscaping.com/blog/2012/01/26/the-blow-by-blow-on-leaf-blowers/

  2. 2 Ryan Thompson 10/09 at 6:50 pm

    Janine — If they’re firing up the leafblowers at 7:05am, reguardless of whether its legal or not I’d call the cops anyway.

    The electric leafblowers are nowhere near as bad, and quite frankly, sometimes you need one to clear a yard. But don’t break balls — do it in the middle of the day, people.

    “revved up and spitting gasoline into your face as you walk by” WTF? If a leaf blower is spitting gasoline, I’d tell them to turn it off, IMMEDIATELY. And if they still don’t get it, produce a match.

  3. 3 Janine 10/08 at 9:19 pm

    This is the worst thing about Gresham as well, and started in… July? According to the City of Gresham, leaf blowers and other maintenance are perfectly legal as early as 7am. 7am! My apartment building takes advantage of this on Tuesdays and the building just behind our apartment on Saturdays, both between 7-9am. HATE.

  4. 4 Mo 10/08 at 5:34 pm

    Nailed it. I actually had a conversation with a management team of a LEED certified building and asked them how they can actually support leaf blowers as part of the outside maintenance. Their reply to me was that the certification of building has nothing to do with the maintenance of the building. Don’t even get me started on them not signing up for the green energy option. Apparently sustainability only went as far as the pretty plaque the building received.

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