Drivers dropping off students at Juneau-Douglas High School will have to shut their engines off whenever possible starting this week instead of letting vehicles idle for long periods of time. The Juneau chapter of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (JAYEA) has established the Juneau-Douglas High School parking lots and surrounding areas as “Idle-Free Zones” and signs are being posted by the city, said chapter member Laurel Stark.
“I’m proud [of JAYEA],” said JDHS Principal Ryan Alsup. “This will have a positive impact on our environment.”
The group wants drivers to minimize the time they spend idling “because it not only contributes to the release of dangerous chemical that affect the global environment, but also local health, especially for children whose brains are not yet fully developed” the chapter stated in a press release.
Signs are being posted to remind drivers that idling should be avoided, Stark said in the release.
“Most people don’t realize that if your car is less than 15 years old, idling for over 10 seconds is bad for the engine,” said freshman and JAYEA member Mali Tamone, “This is a great opportunity to make a difference.”
“It’s been an empowering and satisfying experience,” said Stark, a JDHS senior. “We are fortunate that the school and community has been very supportive.”
Stark said thanks are due to the City and Borough of Juneau for creating and placing the signs, as well as to the encouraging community that made the no-idle zone possible.