Tuesday, October 25, 2011

thoughts from last night's council meeting: noise by-laws

Last night at council, there were two delegations from concerned citizens regarding excessive noise at night. The concern stemmed mainly from motorcycle engines at night, but eventually extended to all vehicles as the discourse on the subject developed.
During the second citizen's delegation, a well spoken senior lady brought up previous recommendations to the city, from a subcommittee, regarding excessive noise. The woman's area of concern was along the Speed river's walking trails west of Gordon St. Obviously she lived there, and has claimed to walk the trail over 15 000 times since she moved to Guelph. Some of the suggestions for dealing with the noise pollution included:

1) Increased police enforcement of noise violations.
2) Increase police training with "decibel rating" devices.
3) Create the motivation for neighbors to snitch on their nosy nieghbours. When the vehicle in question is parked in a driveway it becomes easier to locate.
4) Create a sound certification system for vehicles that wish to operate within city limits. This requires the cooperation of mechanics to certify automobiles.
5) Reroute truck traffic from Wellington to Stone Road

The current by-law is very vague because it states vehicle exhaust systems must operate in an "effective and working" manner. This leaves much to debated. The factory default settings on a 2011 Yamaha R6, or Harley Davidson Fat Boy are already ultra loud. Although they meet the DOT decibel regulations, they're not something that should be prowling a residential neighbourhood at 2am. To compound the problem, aftermarket exhausts crank the volume up to 11.

The issue of motor vehicle noise is similar to that of the ruckus caused by students. Towns-folk get pissed-off and demand the city do something about it. My main contention with the solutions offered by the citizen delegate and city's sub committee on the issue, is No. 5. When the citizen delegate described the fifth option, rerouting trucks from Wellington to Stone, she said: "the noise of the trucks would drown out the noise of the students". I have a problem with this, and not because it marginalizes students. A statement like this marginalizes the families and communities living amongst students. Rerouting trucks down Stone Road would punish a group of citizens that have already felt the brunt of noise and disturbance that comes from students.


  1. Thanks for well-written (as usual) report that informs us in addition to what we would get from the local papers!

  2. hahaha. Damn, just can't get enough of those students.

    Thanks for the news!