OFF THE WIRE
Some people in St. John's are frustrated by the lack of movement on the issue of noisy motorcycles.
They want the government to do something so that there will be clear and concise regulations for the city to follow. Complaints about such noise pollution are prevalent in, but are not confined to, the Signal Hill area and the downtown. Of particular concern are situations where riders add after-factory parts to make their machines noisier.
Councillor Tom Hann would like to see an answer from the government one way or the other. He's especially concerned now that the House of Assembly won't be open again until 2012.
Canada:http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/local/article/614371--loud-motorcycles-cars-in-guelph-council-s-crosshairs Loud motorcycles, cars in Guelph council’s crosshairs
Motorcycle A long line of motorcycles on a recent Friday the Thirteenth gathering in Port Dover. On Monday, city councillors in Guelph voted to have staff review the city’s noise bylaw to see whether they can regulate noisy bikes and modified cars. File photo submitted by Ross Davidson-Pilon GUELPH — Loud pipes may save lives, as the old motorcycling adage goes, but they also apparently annoy residents.
City councillors voted Monday night to have staff review the city’s noise bylaw to see whether they can regulate noisy bikes and modified cars.
The motion was spurred by presentations by two residents, who independently presented similar concerns about gaps in the bylaw.
Cardigan Street resident Duncan Mackenzie noted while the updated bylaw before councillors for ratification addressed nuisances such as loud music and shouting, there was no mention of vehicular annoyances.
“They’re moving through the community and affecting scores of people,” Mackenzie said. “Maybe hundreds.”
Mackenzie said he had taken his concerns to the Guelph Police, but was told officers lack the training or sound-measuring equipment necessary to enforce noise complaints for cars and motorcycles.
Susan Ratcliffe told councillors she is a daily user of the city’s extensive trail system, but said the tranquility of the system is often interrupted by the growl of motorcycles on nearby arterial roads.
“It’s a quality-of-life issue and a health and safety issue,” Ratcliffe said, asking councillors to consider imposing a clear acceptable decibel level for vehicles and requiring operators of motorcycles to have their vehicles tested and obtain “a quiet license” before riding their bikes in the city.
Ratcliffe also suggested switching the preferred east-west truck route through the city from Wellington Street to Stone Road. This, she noted, would see trucks driving through neighbourhoods with heavy student populations “and maybe it would drown out all the yelling.
“It’s time to take back our roads,” Ratcliffe said.
Doug Godfrey, manager of bylaw compliance, noted the noise bylaw does include a provision requiring vehicles to be equipped with effective and operating mufflers, but does not set out an acceptable decibel level.
Coun. Ian Findlay, who made the motion asking staff to investigate their options, noted some motorcycle manufacturers take steps to create a distinct exhaust sound “which may be pleasing to some, but clearly cause some conflict with our residents.”
“Some manufacturers’ idea of quiet is quite different than others,” Coun. Maggie Laidlaw agreed.
Derek McCaughan, the city’s executive director of operations and transit, said staff can consider Ratcliffe’s suggestions, noting it will likely require input from the police as well.
He noted the Guelph Police conduct regular vehicle checks to ensure they are in compliance with legislation including the Highway Traffic Act.
“Perhaps we can get some concerted effort on (ticketing) loud motorcycles,” McCaughan said.
But Findlay made clear his motion is not aimed only at two-wheeled noise makers.
“There are certainly other vehicles on the road that may violate community standards for noise,” he said.
Councillors unanimously supported the idea of having staff explore options to regulate vehicle noise.