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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Letter: Just enforce existing laws against noisy motorcycles
Lettertotheeditormale

Dear editor:

I am writing in response to the letter from Paulette Kennedy regarding noise from “open pipe” motorcycles, (The Lake Report, March 24).

Her solution to the problem with her neighbourhood being a chosen route of the noise makers, is to petition for a law to move them to a “concession road.”

I moved here several years before Paulette did and although I love Old Town, I chose not to live there because I prefer the peace of the countryside, even though it meant I would have to drive to the amenities, shops and restaurants of Old Town.

I also love the Niagara Parkway, with the magical views of the historic and world-celebrated Niagara River.

But I passed living on the wonderful views and trails because I love the quiet of the undeveloped rural areas.

I chose to have to get in the car and drive to the parkway for our daily dog walks, although it would have been nice to just walk out the door to Old Town sidewalks, or the paved parkway trails.

It is not safe or relaxing to walk on our concession road with the lack of sidewalks and with 70 to 80 km/h speeds.

Many Old Town residents enjoy these higher-speed concession roads to quickly get to their destinations. On our concession road we do not have town water, sewage, street lighting or, of course, sidewalks.

There is nothing to view here and no shops for tourists, including motorcyclists, to seek out. We are alone with no attractions and because there is almost no one to disturb, the motorcyclists ignore us for the most part.

FYI, where I moved from before arriving on this beautiful and warm peninsula of fruit and tourism, I lived for 40 years on my former region’s equivalent of the parkway, north of the GTA.

My very lovely winding country road was and still is the main destination for all “open pipe” motorcyclists in southern Ontario. Instead of just having to stop talking when the motorcyclists came through, we just didn’t even talk outside on afternoons in spring, summer or fall.

I have sympathy for the plight of the people who are on the motorcyclists’ chosen routes. Where I used to live the weekend motorcycle count was in the thousands, so weekends were out of the question for having visitors to enjoy our rural home and gardens.

We did get some relief from motorcyclists’ noise on cold rainy days, for what that’s worth.

I know Paulette is speaking out of desperation because excessively noisy non-muffled motorcycles are stealing her right to quiet enjoyment of her home.

I also know that the solution is not to in turn steal those same rights of quiet enjoyment from people who live on concession roads. After 40 years of noise I chose my new location in NOTL very consciously.

These noise-enhanced motorcycles are not legal to drive on highways in Ontario and it is a great mystery to me why there is no effective enforcement anywhere.

The existing Highway Traffic Act provisions provide this comfort to residents faced with unreasonable noise. Rather than spending money passing and enforcing laws to redirect noise lawbreakers to someone else’s neighbourhood, I hope we might agree to just enforce the laws on hand.

Municipalities may also pass noise bylaws to curb motorcycle noise.

If you pass a bylaw and post signs to prohibit noisy motorcycles in Old Town, it still is of no effect unless it is enforced by police.

So just enforce the laws already on the books. By the way, municipalities get a share of Provincial Offences Act fines to offset trial and enforcement costs.

Keith McNenly ??????
NOTL