Cops Vow To Quiet Hogs
by Thomas MacMillan | Jun 9, 2011 7:08 am
Posted to: Legal Writes
For years, Tina Doyle has been suffering through the “tremendous roar” of motorcycles thundering down Townsend Avenue in the summertime. On Wednesday, cops offered to provide some relief.
As part of a “quality of life” initiative in the East Shore, cops will be cracking down on motor vehicle noise from car drivers cranking their stereos and bikers gunning their hogs.
The mayor, two aldermen, and a passel of cops gathered at Pardee Seawall Park to announce that news on Wednesday morning.
Mayor John DeStefano began by explaining the problem. Lighthouse Point Park is the most popular park in the city, he said. Townsend and Woodward Avenues are the two most common ways of getting there. While Woodward is equipped with roundabouts and other traffic-calming measures, Townsend is not, and therefore sees more and louder traffic, DeStefano said.
Sgt. Vincent Anastasio then described the solution. Starting Wednesday, police will be deploying additional patrol and traffic units—motorcycle cops—to the area, with the task of ticketing the drivers of noisy vehicles. Those vehicles could include cars with their stereos cranked up, or motorcycles with their mufflers altered to create the deafening rumble some bikers favor.
Tickets can be in excess of $200, Anastasio said. In addition, bikers with illegal “straight pipes” will be issued a DMV inspection ticket, requiring them to pay to have their bike altered and then inspected.
Anastasio said the increased enforcement will focus on weekends, when Townsend sees its peak of beach traffic.
Local Aldermen Al Paolillo and Arlene DePino hailed the new plan. So did Doyle, the chair of the East Shore Community Management Team. She said loud bikes have been a nuisance in the area for years. “Since they’ve been making motorcycles,” quipped Barbara Carrol, another member of the management team.
“I’m glad they’re doing it,” said Doyle of the increased enforcement.
She said the motorcycle noise isn’t too bad until about 11:30 p.m., when the racket becomes “piercing,” she said.
DeStefano said the quality of life enforcement will go on alongside a continued policing emphasis on dealing with violent and drug-related crime.
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Here’s an easy way to cut down half the problem in about 30 minutes worth of work. When Fireside closes, which is right next to the substation, have a few cars ready and ticket away. That place is a haven for loud obnoxious motorcycles.
Another easy way to solve the problem: Have the police in East Shore stop parking behind the Annex club for hours on end. Why they are back there, I have no idea. Let’s assume they are filling out reports, and not just reading the paper. Why not do that while parked on Woodward or Townsend? Just having a presence will stop the bikes from racing up and down the road.
Good suggestions, James. I’m glad to see that there is at least a promise to step-up enforcement. I live on Pope off Townsend, and we sometimes have to stop conversation for bikes that are roaring down Townsend Ave. My husband has a bike, so do my neighbors. Bikes don’t *have* to be that loud. We’re proof of that.
I’d like to see the police take it a step further and set up more speed traps. I’ve recently been in touch with Arlene and Al regarding this issue on my block. It’s a one-way short cut between Townsend and Woodward, and many cars FLY down the street. While I’ll admit that even I can be a bit of a lead foot sometimes, I’m not tearing through neighborhoods where kids are at play. :) These cars that frequently go down are street are, no joke, in excess of 50MPH. Even the children on the block yell at them to slow down. It’s bad enough we see speeds of that caliber (and higher) on Townsend, but on a side street is just unacceptable.
Setting up a couple of motorcycle cops with a radar gun at the end of the street during drop-off and pick-up times at Nathan Hale would be easy money for the city. Much easier than, say, ticketing people at the Annex little league fields for parking along the curb at the park. Seriously, coppers. Give parents a break there, guys. We’re hardly the biggest offenders in the neighborhood.
A good start! Thank you Sgt Anastasio for listening to the neighborhood’s concerns, great job I hope you catch every offender.
But, why is this limited to the East Shore? It should be city wide.
I spent a weekend in Newport RI a while ago and for three days I didn’t hear a single strait pipe. It was beautiful.
Why no noise there? My guess is that bikers KNOW they will get ticketed there.
I know, I know Newport cops aren’t dealing with the issues New Haven Police are….
None of the other police initiatives have been successful. 1. Why do they think they can make a difference here? 2. Shouldn’t their energy be focused on more pressing issues?
Full disclosure: I absolutely hate biker noise.
Now how about going after the bikeriders.I like what they are doing in New York.How about passing this here.
City Councilman wants to slap speedy bike messengers, food delivery cyclists with license plates
BY ERIN EINHORN
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF
Thursday, May 26, 2011
How long before we can expect to see results mayor and chief? Is this going to be a 3 year plan? The mayor and police are to blame for letting this get out of hand to begin with, now its a norm to be as loud as possible in New Haven. This is all PR work for the mayors next campaign, lets not fool ourselves. There is no way to crack down on this, the cops are busy doing important work right?
A much better use of police and safety resources then say, patrolling the streets in the traditional summertime (overwhelmingly africian american) powder keg neighborhoods where we all know someone is most likely going to be shot and killed this weekend.
What me worry?
Without directly mentioning it, this article implies a better permanent solution. Add roundabouts to Townsend Ave. They have worked spectacularly on Woodward. Traffic calming is a great investment since it’s passive and permanent, cutting down tremendously on the need for police enforcement. No reasonable amount of enforcement can solve the problem of rampant speeding as long as the streets are designed to make it easy to drive that fast. Cops can’t be everywhere all the time.
Reducing speeds through traffic calming will effectively reduce the noise, not to mention vastly improving safety and the quality of life for East Shore residents. I’m all for ticketing bikers with illegal pipes, but I think that some simple modifications to the street would be a much more effective long term solution.
Mayor and Chief of Police vow to do their jobs!
Tis the season of promises, you gotta love election time. Which is closely followed by the season of disappointments.
These horrendously loud motorcycles are a problem everywhere, not just the east shore. State Street, and its adjoining roads is yet another.
Can’t the authorities issue a defect notice for this as well, for what is clearly an unnecessary alteration. Also, how many of these riders are themselves police officers? Will they be ticketed too?
Of course they will roll out the old argument, that it is safer to have a loud motorcycle, but who are they kidding? It’s nothing more than public masturbation.
I’m all for motorcycles… just not the ones that set off car alarms, shake my house, and wake up my kids at 2am.
The police crack down on this once a year or so when the weather starts to get warm. It last for a few weeks, then disappears and all the bikes come back. It would be great if this was a first step in year round enforcement.
The quality of life enforcement makes a huge difference, and really should be applied to the entire city. When you stop someone for speeding, straight pipes, whatever.. it cuts down on all sorts of other stuff.
As far as changing Townsend to include roundabouts… good luck. Townsend is a State road, and therefore damn near impossible to change. Ask Al Paolillo about the stop light on Upson and Townsend that he has been working on for… ever.
Perhaps it’s just a coincident, but Newport, R.I., adopted the EPA label law last summer. Most motorcycles made after 1982 must have an EPA noise compliant exhaust. It’s illegal under federal law to replace the compliant exhaust with one that’s not compliant. When Connecticut adopts the EPA label law and enforces it, there will be a considerable reduction in the numbers of loud motorcycles. There’s more information on curbing loud bikes at the Maine Citizens For Quiet Motorvehicle’s Facebook page.
posted by: doug hausladen on June 9, 2011 2:02pm
@andy ford -
do you know any more other than the information you listed? i just ‘liked’ the Maine citizen page. if you had time/more knowledge, i’d like to sit down and chat about how best to lobby the state for this sort of enforcement -
thanks - this is something i’ve been trying to get enforced downtown for many years, and as i type, my building is rattling to the sound of a hog
@ Doug. There are two bills in process right now in the CT legislature. Bill # 821 sponsored by Sen. Fonfara (1st dis.) and # 826 sponsored by Sen Kelly (21st Dis). I testified in favor of both, but 826, which I helped draft, includes a provision to add another layer of enforcement by requiring EPA label to pass inspection/registration. Neither are perfect, but they are a start. I call on all who want something done to contact the Transportation Committee and express support. Also, contact your local Rep and Senator. Also, “like” Connecticut Citizens Against Loud Motor-vehicles (CTCALM) on Facebook. I just started it and will be uploading much more info soon. By the way, loud motorcycles are already illegal in CT!
Motorcycles are great, but loud motorcycles that flagrantly violate all M/V laws and destroy residents’ quality of life should be immediately removed from the streets. A small ticket is not enough.
The fine should be at least as high as the cost of the motorcycle, given that each noise violation reduces collective local property values by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This enforcement is needed citywide, not just in East Shore.
We had a bill this year that would have banned straight pipes from Maine’s public roads. It would have required the officer to confiscate the registration certificate thereby preventing the motorcycle to be ridden. And the registration suspension would have remained in effect after conviction until the illegal pipes were given to the court for destruction. Unfortunately, the Transportation Committee killed the bill. This would have been much more effective in curbing loud riding than the usual $130 fine.
Great I hope this will include Upper State Street. Motorcycles are fine but if the ticket cars without mufflers then they can take away a motorcycle that is set up to sound like a tank.
The mayor earns $130,000. Limon earns $150,000. The Assistant Chiefs earn $100,000. So there’s about $1,000,000 a year going to the good ole boys in this photo opp. With a photo opp every two or three days we taxpayers are paying out a hell of a lot for this. The cops should be trying to catch criminals, not win oscars. The mayor has lost it if he thinks we’re stupid enough to buy this crock of .....
posted by: streever on June 10, 2011 10:38am
The Mayor keeps holding these press conferences to announce his intention to…..... do his job? I mean, seriously?
They’ll be there for 2 or 3 days like they are every summer. Why is this news when the mayor plays this publicity stunt every summer ? A month will go by and people will drive like idiots again. Even the school bus drivers do 40 down Townsend Ave. Why don’t they have those cartoon character parking enforcement people in the cove ? Have you seen these people ? I thought only Stop n Shop hired the handicapped ? Jesus, what rock did you turn over to find these people ? They don’t look like they could spell ticket or be in shape to walk a full block. Come on New Haven, have some pride. They don’t even press their uniforms. The frigging slobs
Another wonderful act of discrimination and profiling of motorcyclists, especially the last comment “alongside a continued policing empahsis on dealing with violent and drug related crime”. Why not be there at 11:30 PM and nail those few motorcyclists that do not care about their effect on homeowners, I am all for that but to stereotype all motorcyclists as bad people who all break the law or have no regard for others is ridiculous. I have been a manager in a great company that has been riding for 35 years. I rde with doctors, nurses, lawyers, business owners and other hard working people. The kids today with their 4 cylinder cars with the noisy mufflers are usually much louder than motorcycles, go after them when they gun their engines just as you should for the few motorcyclists that crank their engines up after 11:30PM. I also hope that the police have the approved decibel reading equipment, are certified to use it and they are in calibration, if not you will be looking at a class action law suit if it is just their opinion that the pipes are too loud. Loud pipes save lives as most of those who have never ridden a motorcycle would not understand. Most people in cars don’t respect a motorcyclists right to the lane they are in as I have been cut off and pulled out in front of way to many times to count but that is another issue. I agree that there should be something done to those motorcyclists and car owners that have no respect for those who live in that area but to generalize as I have read is UNAMERICAN to blame all motorcyclists.
A few years ago, a news story was published that resulted from interviewing Harley dealers as to what percentage of their customers removed the legal exhaust and installed a louder one. The lowest estimate was 60 percent and the highest was 80 percent. Thus, a majority of Harley owners are in violation of the federal law that requires an EPA noise certified exhaust on most motorcycles made after 1982. We’re not trying to profile anyone but we are targeting the problem in that loud motorcycles generate far more noise pollution in relation to their numbers than any other type of motor vehicle. In fact, we know of no other group of motorists who routinely remove the muffler and drive with straight pipes which often disables the air pollution equipment. We only want all motorcyclists to quiet down by riding only with legal pipes and have no interest in getting involved with law suits. However, it should be stated that the federal motorcycle noise law does have a provision which allows individual citizens to enforce the law by suing loud bikers in federal district court. There isn’t a credible motorcycle safety study that has found that loud pipes save lives. In fact, the nation’s two largest motorcycle organizations, the American Motorcyclists Association and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation both advocate for quiet riding as does the Harley Davidson Co. Connecticut residents can help address the abusive behavior of riding loud by joining Connecticut Citizens Against Loud Motorvehicles which has a Facebook page.
Andy, I would like to look at the data you say is available. It may be true that straight pipes exceed the allowable limits, my bike doesn’t have straight pipes, I have changed them. I have had mine tested by calibrated equipment and it is within federal standards. To stop every bike is stereotyping. I would like to see the data you have that shows the majority of Harley owners are breaking the law noise wise. I have been passed by those cars with the loud illegal mufflers and they drown out my bike therefore I disagree with your statement that no other group of motorists change their mufflers more than motorcyclists. I see 10 Honda’s and Toyota’s to every 1 motorcycle that has those illegal mufflers that have larger than a tennis ball opening on those cars. Straight pipes are loud when you open the bike up and those that use them should be disciplined when disturbing the peace homeowners have a right to at night but there should be an equal effort to discipline those who drive cars with loud mufflers, peeling out, speeding on the side streets etc. Throughout the article, it seems that the focus is just on motorcyclists. I am an AMA, MRF and CMRA member who is politically active. States are implementing motorcycle only check points which is discriminatory. If there is cause to pull over a motorcyclist then do so but to pull all motorcyclists over just because you want to is unethical.
Many states have heavy trucks-only check points for good reasons. Uninspected heavy trucks can become a very serious safety hazard for the traveling public and safety checks are fair and reasonable. Motorcycles have become a major source of road noise pollution so it’s fair and reasonable to target them. Straight pipes are illegal in many states even if they have baffles and rightly so. And there’s no right under federal law for anyone to replace the noise compliant exhaust for any reason, and we expect this will become a national standard when some states adopt and enforce this law. The larger society (the 97 percent that don’t ride motorcycles) are increasingly fed up with motorcycle noise pollution and want something done about it. And it shouldn’t surprise anyone if effective solutions are imposed regardless of what motorcycle groups may think. The National Park Service held a two-day motorcycle noise forum last year in response to complaints from many thousands of park visitors about motorcycle noise pollution that degraded their visiting experience. Last week, I got a message from a park official assuring me that the NPS was progressing (although very slowly) with the writing the rules. We’re looking forward to seeing these rules and we want consistent enforcement of them. I was hoping that the story involving Harley dealers had been posted on the MECALM website but if it was, it’s not there now. But I do clearly remember the dismal stats. In addition to CTCALM, there are a number of groups that have been formed in the last two years to curb loud motorcycles including NHCALM, AMCALM, INCALM and Maine Citizens For Quiet Motorvehicles. This has resulted in among other things, adoption of the EPA label law by California which will go into effect in 2013. However, it’s much too much watered down and we will be working to improve its effectiveness.
Sect. 14.80 of the CT general statutes states that it is illegal to replace the original exhaust equipment with anything that is in any way louder. It is illegal for individuals to do it as well as businesses. Yet, businesses and individuals do it all the time. Focusing on what is a rampant and pervasive problem is not discrimination, it is common sense!
To Dave,, we are not targeting just Motorcycles that was the media’s fault , we are targeting excessive unnecessary noise, period. Nobody cares how pretty your motorcycle is or how proud you are to ride it..the point is no one should have to hear you driving through the neighborhood from 2 or 3 blocks away..if you have straight pipes on your bike, it is against the law in Ct. and you will be cited for improper muffler $224.00…contrary to your comment about noise..we do not need certifications or a decibel meter with precise calibration..You need to have respect for peoples private comfort and peace that they are entitled to…The infraction is Unnecessary noise $224.00…fight it all you want in court , it will cost you even more…plus the inspection at DMV to fix your muffler back to the way it was…remember, excessive noise is just what it means..example,if you and a friend are having a conversation in your kitchen and you have to stop because a car stereo,car muffler or motorcycle interferes with that..its called excessive noise..I don’t think anybody not even a police officer needs a decibel meter to determine that. Saves lives???? I’m sure there are a few heart attacks issued because of it…Enjoy your summer.
The guy who claims he speaks for 97% of the public of non-motorcycle riding people, please do not speak for me! The sound of a motorcycle is no nuisance to me. Motorcyclists have gathered for charity for decades. If it weren’t for their help, I might not have had the assistance I have had with the fight with breast cancer I experienced. Thank you to all of the motorcyclists on charity runs for all of the assistance financially and emotionally that you have given to me personally! Ride by my house a thousand times a day as loud as you want to, just to remind me that I am alive. Thank you for giving me an appreciation, from the strangest group of people that I never expected help from! You helped me more than my own family. Officer, don’t you dare ticket them for giving me a new lease on life. I now “pay it forward” and offer what little time I can to wherever I can to possibly give back what motorcyclists have given to me - a priceless gift of life.
Bikers do give much to charity, and that is good. It would be even better if they did it without causing stress to everyone around them with the noise. Charity rides can be done with legal, QUIET pipes. Or, better yet, they can do like the rest of us do and just give to those in need and NOT ASK FOR ANYTHING IN RETURN. Now THAT would be charity!
Giving to charities is a wonderful thing to do but bikers certainly don’t have a monopoly on that. There are millions of Americans who give generously to many worthy charities without calling any attention to themselves. They are too respectful of others and themselves to remove the muffler from their car, go roaring down the road saying look at me, I’m so great and wonderful because I’m donating to charities. When bikers learn (or more likely when the larger non-riding society forces them to learn through easy to enforce laws with real penalties) that they aren’t going to be able to continue inflicting their ear-splitting noise upon the rest of us, motorcycling will greatly improve and will also have a much better image.
The sound is equivalent to a purr of a kitten in my life - not ear splitting at all. Perspective of what can annoy one may not annoy another. Do not claim that you represent the non-motorcycling public in such statements. I actually read over the EPA stuff you are referring to and it does not look like any vehicle manufacturer follows what the EPA standard intended almost 30 years ago. ... Loud cars, trucks, commercial trucks, 160 decibel sirens, and more are out 365 days a year (planes, helicopters, trains, boats with diesel motors, cigarette boats roaring, etc). I just hope that others, law enforcement included continue to recognize the great assistance many charities have received from Americans that have a souped up vehicle (petty enforcement concern in my mind). Oh, and other charitable functions do call attention to themselves ...roadways are blocked for charity walks, runs, golf functions, crowds are cheering louder than a motorcycle - oh, and wait, when I did a 10k, guess what, a motorcyclist carried the news cameraman along and motorcyclists assisted with escorting the routes and checking on participants that could not keep up. None of those volunteers asked for any attention, they worked with us behind the scenes - the participants were yelling, cheering, and wearing loud disturbing to the eye outfits that day though that probably annoyed people that hate the color pink. I just do not support your accusations and don’t see your complaints as fair, valid, nor speaking for all that do not ride .I was lost in my thoughts at a green light one day and a motorcyclist behind me revved his motor. It snapped me back to attention and made me thankful for his motorcycle customization. I had the music blaring in my car that day too. No one regulate them, otherwise, they might come inside my car again (seat belt laws) and start regulating the decibels of my radio. There, there’s an example that loud pipes save lives. The motorcyclist by simply revving, prevented me from being a victim of road rage from the guy behind him that I may have ticked off. I am not angered by your statements, I understand, there are things that sweep by me for a few seconds a day that are probably unenforceable by officers all of the time, for instance the folks that speed in those neighborhoods, that to me might be a larger priority than a sound of a vehicle that warms my heart personally.
Mr Ford and YRKiddin, One person wrote praising bikers that helped her get thru a crisis and said thank you, other than that I made a statement that we bikers do more good by far in society than bad. Neither reply was looking for praise for helping or donating. There are many groups that raise money for different charities and bikers are a large part of those different fundraisers. We don’t try to single out anyone ... Not every motorcycle is loud or breaks federal standards ... I also stated that if a few individuals don’t respect the rights of others (motorcyclists, car, truck or bus drivers), they deserve to be fined but your ... statements that basically everyone (97% - what poll can you reference)has the same opinion about motorcyclists is absurd. Your statement about truck stops is another distorted analogy that is unrelated. Overweight trucks are dangerous and proven to be deadly, that is why there are weight stations. I never heard a statistic on how a loud motorcycle killed someone ... Loud noise does travel but stopping a conversation 2 or 3 blocks away due to motorcycle noise, oh well, I will let the public judge that statement of yours….
ANON ... have the fine equal the cost of the motorcycle. Another person who is prejudice to motorcyclists. Why didn’t you mention cars with the ridiculous mufflers on them that are just as noisy? Why didn’t you recommend that they be fined the cost of their vehicle. Gee, I think smokers should be jailed if they exhale smoke and I end up breathing their second hand smoke. Those caught speeding should have their cars taken away and never be allowed to drive again for the rest of their life. I could make up many more absurd rules…
When I was a kid I thought having a loud Supertrapp pipe on my 750 was pretty cool. After a few years of owning the bike I decided to put the stock pipes back on just to see how they performed and man o man was I surprised. Not only did the bike have more torque, it was a dream to ride! It was quiet, I could hear cars and the wind all around me. It was similar to the peaceful sound of riding a bicycle. I never went back to loud.
If safety was a first concern for bikers having loud pipes than why do they not wear helmets or protective gear? I suppose revving the engine for no reason is all about safety as well huh?
This was all a PR stunt for the mayor anyways so it really shouldnt worry anyone. What worries me the most is that the loud Honda Civics that plague the city were not even mentioned, is that because the mayor needs all the Puerto Rican votes he can get?
Contentions that changing, or removing the epa labeled exhaust violates federal law is incorrect. The fact is the tampering provisions in the federal code allows the original exhaust to be remove, replaced or altered by the owner with conditions. The Noise Control Act also allows the original noise controls to be removed. What can not be removed is the effective performance of the equipment on the vehicle while it is in use to be compliant to the federal standard. The measure of that performance can only be determined by the vehicle’s noise output as measured by the scientific pass-by test for the whole vehicles noise output, NOT the muffler’s noise. This focus on mufflers by activists, is a shell game to fool legislators into creating noise control solutions to feed this groups agenda. The goal is to only get the attention of bikers to the issue, not to offer any known successful cure. The CA law that will require exhaust to meet emissions, but noise can not be a primary reason for a stop, allowing pre 2013 vehicles exempt, is a great example of this agenda. These suggestions are proven historically to fail in every jurisdiction that has attempted it. Readers here would be wise to educate themselves on CFR 40 part 205.162-2. Once the wrong legislation is put in place it will move the publics efforts further away to effectively deal with this issue. Maine is a great example, where the latest revision to the general muffler regulations, after activist lobbied for epa label law changes, have actually allowed louder motorcycle use to be legal. (The Maine standard now violates the federal standard) Don’t let this happen to your town or state. There are simple, effective noise control solutions, local police can administer, that don’t rely on the requirements on manufacturers to label exhaust.