Leaf Blowers Banned in Hudson Valley Towns, Should There Be More?
Now that spring is here, leaf blowers are once again blaring through the Hudson Valley. Some people are saying enough is enough.
It's a scenario that many residents of the Hudson Valley can relate to. You're sitting out on your deck, enjoying the outdoors when you're peaceful moment is interrupted by the loud buzzing of your neighbor's leaf blower. One by one, it seems that everyone on your street fires up their leaf blowers, creating a symphony of deafening noise that drives you out of your own yard and back inside.
Throughout the nation, more and more towns are trying to put an end to the problem by creating noise limits or outright banning leaf blowers from their communities. In the Mid Hudson Valley, several towns have laws on the books that essentially ban gas-powered leaf blowers. In Beacon, the law limits residents to generating noise under 60 decibels, which is far less than that made by a gas-powered leaf blower. Other Hudson Valley towns, including Rhinebeck, have similar laws on the books. The Village of New Paltz currently allows leaf blowers, but recently announced that they are also considering a law that would only allow quieter, electric models to be used.
Just this month Burlington, Vermont banned gas-powered leaf blowers from Memorial Day to Labor Day. As a result, many landscapers have protested, saying that the law unfairly infringes on their business. Homeowners aren't happy either, claiming that they should be able to maintain their property the way they see fit.
Back in the Hudson Valley, residents are looking at the situation in Vermont and wondering if their own town should take action against these loud leaf blowers. In my own neighborhood, I know that the buzz of those leafblowers can ruin your afternoon, but I also know that I would spend too many back-breaking hours raking the lawn if I wasn't able to fire up my own high-powered leaf blower.
We want to know what you think. Should leaf blowers be limited to low-powered electric models that are below 60 decibels? Or do you think the convenience of loud, gas-powered blowers outweighs the noise pollution? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.