The most common complaint I have had this summer has been about the intrusive noise of excessively loud mufflers on both motor bikes and cars. What makes this kind of noise particularly frustrating is that it is completely unnecessary. Any mechanical advantage gained by loud mufflers would be negligible in legal city driving conditions. There has been a lot of attention paid recently to the problems of littering and graffiti. In my mind the invasiveness on the enjoyment of others of loud mufflers is no different.
It is part of the challenge of a large city that we must find ways as individuals to coexist with our neighbours and fellow citizens. Some clash is inevitable and unavoidable. But loud mufflers and car stereos, which essentially do little more than say ‘look at me’ at the expense of another’s ability to enjoy peace and quiet, go well beyond the bounds of common courtesy. I believe it is essentially the equivalent of running into a strangers back yard or onto their balcony or into their living room, interrupting and yelling at them, ‘look at me I’m riding my motorcycle.’ Most people would never dream of doing that to a friend let alone a stranger and yet that is what is happening every time a loud bike or car drives up or down a street. It is particularly problematic late at night.
On paper the city has bylaws to control this kind of behaviour, yet currently we have been very unsuccessful in actually curtailing the sonic invasion. In response to the numerous calls and emails I have had on the subject I have asked our administration to bring back a report on what we are currently doing, what tools we have to deal with the issue, what are the limitations of those tools, what are other cities are doing, and what changes could we make to more effectively deal with the problem.
We are expecting to deal with the report sometime in September. If any of you have any thoughts on the matter or would like to present to us on the issue please let me know.