A City That Banned Leaf Blowers Reports on the Results

In a ballot measure last year, the northern California city of Sonoma became at least the 25th city in the state to ban or severely limit use of gas-powered leaf blowers. Now the Sonoma Valley Sun has reported on civic response, as the ban goes into effect. The whole story is here; highlights are below, after the graphic from the California Air Resources Board.

From the Sonoma Valley Sun story:

Adam, a contractor who works in Sonoma, said he “hates gas leaf blowers,” because they’re too loud and smell horrible. He thinks every town should ban them. He felt that, though not as powerful, the battery ones work fine. He pointed out that lithium ion batteries are superior to anything available even five years ago — they last longer and can be recycled.
A homeowner near the Plaza said he purchased a battery blower for his gardeners to use on his property.... 
A west side homeowner “immediately noticed my neighborhood and the town are a lot quieter.” He sees more rakes and brooms in use, and some battery blowers. He noted that his neighborhood was still very tidy. “When driving,” he added, “I don’t have to dodge anyone blowing leaves in the street,” a practice that is now against the law.
A man with an office on the Plaza noted that he used to consider leaf blower noise unavoidable. “Once I became aware of the possibility of eliminating it, I realized how often I was inconvenienced,” maybe ending a phone conversation, or crossing the street to avoid the blower. He also became aware of the health impacts. “Imagine standing in all that dust and noise.” After Measure V passed he noticed guys “happily raking.”
A dog walker said she and her canine companions walked through much less dust and noise now, as more people raked. She said even when there is a leaf blower “It’s so much quieter, and there are no fumes. It still blows up some dust, but much less.”