City looking to battle noise with photo radar-style technology
Kiera Lyons, CTV Edmonton
Published Wednesday, April 4, 2018 7:54PM MDT
There may soon be noise traps on city streets, enforcing vehicle volume the same way photo radar catches speeders.
Edmonton police have named the top five places in the city for vehicle noise complaints which includes an area of Jasper Avenue.
According to a decibel metre app, regular traffic on Jasper Avenue registers around 70 decibels, a level that make most people uncomfortable.
A study by city staff collected data on loud vehicle noise on Jasper Avenue and Groat Road. In a two week period they recorded dozens of instances of 90 decibel noise for up to 30 seconds at a time.
“It's allowing a few idiots to drive people out of the core of the city where we're trying to encourage people to move,” ward 8 councillor Ben Henderson told CTV.
It's been a big problem in Old Strathcona in recent years as well although police don't get a lot of complaints from the area. One resident has a theory as to why.
“You can't really justify as a citizen at 3 a.m. phoning the cops and saying, I just heard a really loud car that woke me up 6 blocks away, what are they going to do? They have no idea where that person is,” Queen Alexandra community league member Kim Clegg says.
Council passed a bylaw restricting motorcycle noise in 2010, but enforcement since then has been inconsistent. Now councillors are asking city staff to collect more data on traffic noise over the summer, and come up with ways to deter bad behavior.
The city is looking into the potential of new technology that acts similar to photo radar, but it involves decibel levels and video.
This summer city workers will be out collecting data on the loudest spots in the city, but police often have to prioritize where their resources go, and noise complaints aren't always high on the list. Which is why city bylaw officers do most of the enforcing has been proposed.