The City of Red Deer will undertake a pilot program over the next two years in hopes of reducing vehicle noise.
In 2010 the City approved a motion to take a look at vehicle noise throughout Red Deer. At that time, administration recommended to wait to see the results of new technology in the form of a noise snare which was introduced in Calgary before making a decision on vehicle noise.
After a trial period, the City of Calgary determined the noise snare was not meeting their needs and parted ways with the product developer.
In 2010, council also requested that administration research the success of the City of Edmonton’s Vehicle Noise Bylaw and to bring back a report and potential amendments of the Community Standard Bylaw. The Edmonton Police Service has since continued their efforts with a focus on motorcycles.
Council voted in favour of continuing to utilize the existing provincial and municipal legislation related to vehicle noise attenuation; implement a comprehensive public awareness strategy in the spring/summer to encourage official reporting of offenses, while reminding residents to be respectful of others and tips to assist current enforcement resources to address chronic noise polluters.
Council also voted in favour of hosting ‘decibel reading events’ twice a year; to initiate an urban centre noise strategy with other Alberta municipalities to develop a collaborative advocacy position with respect to all vehicle noise; and to continue to monitor areas of the community with the most complaints and investigate design options such as the addition of berms, high walls/fences or the addition of trees and shrubs.
Council will receive a report back in 2016.
“I hear consistently that this type of thing is challenging to implement, challenging to enforce. I just don’t get it – why are we spending so much of our City’s time, resources and energy on dealing with something that obviously has to be dealt with at the provincial level?” said Councillor Lawrence Lee. “This is something that should cover all vehicles, all over the province. Why are municipalities dealing with it at a local level that would waste our enforcement dollars and our resources. I can’t support any of this.”
Councillor Dianne Wyntjes said she supports the recommendations.
“I like what I am seeing in terms of our continued work on it. It’s a complicated issue that is difficult to enforce. Administration has not been able to find another municipality that has successfully utilized technology to address vehicle noise over the long term. It’s always unfortunate that our community has to continue to live through it but with other community partners we can continue education.”
Council voted in favour of the recommendations 6-3 with Councillors Paul Harris, Tanya Handley and Lee voting against it.