Would you like to know how many citations were issued in the last two years for violating Evanston's seasonal ban on certain kinds of leaf blowers?
The answer, as Evanston Now learned from filing a Freedom of Information Act request, is: Four. Total. In two years.
Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to give final approval to amendments to the leaf blower ordinance that would raise the fine for violatons from $75 to $100 and attempt to make property owners as well as landscapers responsible for violations.
Just last year the city's 311 service recorded 63 complaints about leaf blower noise, and that presumably does not count complaints phoned in directly to the Police Department.
So, to put the most positive spin on it, about 3 percent of complaints about leaf blowing led to the issuance of a citation.
Now I hate the noise of all leaf blowers, and power lawn mowers, and just about anything else that disturbs the tranquility of my quiet block.
But I also like to see my neighbors' yards well maintained. And since most of them hire professionals to do the work for them, I don't think it's realistic to think the hand rake and reel-type push mower are going to return to popularity any time soon.
Don't hold your breath waiting for this to become the top selling lawn mower in America.
Frankly, I'd rather put up with the noise than have the chronic complainers in town waste police time on what ultimately is a pretty trivial issue.
Instead of amending the leaf blower ordinance, aldermen should repeal it.