Idling Gets Us Nowhere

The hustle and bustle at Portland International Airport includes a constant dance of vehicles: passenger cars, taxis, shuttle buses, and delivery trucks carrying cargo and supplies. For many of these vehicles, a running engine is usually not necessary, like those waiting in the cell phone parking lot or making deliveries to certain parts of the airport terminal.

Over the years, the Port has implemented numerous programs to help reduce emissions from idling engines, including the Quick Pay program at the PDX parking garages. What seems like a small thing—paying on foot—can add up to a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas and other emissions.

This year, we wanted to reinforce the idea that idling engines are a waste of clean air, fuel and money. The Port’s air quality team worked with the marketing department and PDX maintenance to create simple, eye-catching signs to urge people to avoid idling. The signs have been placed around the airport in places like the cell phone parking lot and the taxi/shuttle waiting lot. The message is clear: “Protect clean air. Save fuel. Don’t idle.”

We know there are some areas around the airport where the no-idling recommendation will not always work, but for cars that are parked for more than 30 seconds, it makes financial and environmental sense. Spread the word, and do your part!