According to an article on the CBC web site and one in the National Post,  the City of Fort Saskatchewan, the RCMP, and the Fort Saskatchewan Motorcycle Association are being sued by an elderly gent who is tired of having his peace and quiet disrupted.

He says his complaints have fallen on deaf ears for 18 years and he's tired of it.

Noise, it has become such a bone of contention and as our cities get bigger, it will become even more contentious.

I know what the gent in these articles, Richard Jones, feels like. I truly can empathize.

When we bought our home in 2001, it was on a dead end street with a green space at the top of the T intersection that separated our community of Avondale from the bypass.  It was wonderful, two school yards in our back yard (so very quiet at night) and very little traffic in the front.

We felt like we lived in the country with all of the conveniences of being in a small city.

Then the city, in its wisdom, punched through that lovely green space and put a connector to the bypass in.

Our street became a race track.  To slow traffic down, the city the installed these hideous centre dividers with planted trees in them, and installed bike paths although the bicyclists still prefer to use the sidewalk.  They installed these ridiculous bulbous sidewalk turnouts at every intersection so that pedestrians didn't have so far to go to cross the road (Like 10' makes that much of a difference to a person on foot).

All through this process, no matter how much people didn't want this development, not the connector to the bypass or the stupid big cement planters, or the idiotic 3 blocks of bike path, no one would listen to the people who live here.

All of the planning and info meetings were nothing more than a delivery method that said this is what you are getting. There was no consideration for those who live here.

The hideous planters did little to slow people down and when you add the new fire hall into the mix, (we are now on a major route now for the fire trucks), let's just say what used to be a peaceful place to live is no longer peaceful.

Our street used to be a major school bus route and in the winter it was cleaned so fast and so well but now, because of those ridiculously hideous planters and the sidewalk turnouts at the intersections, our street is not the priority it once was and the grader operators have a hell of a time trying to clear our street now.

I understand Mr. Jones frustration with the noise.  For him the noise might be motorcycles, in our case, it's chipped up 4 x 4's and import cars with booming stereos and fire trucks. We have the odd biker that rips through our neighbourhood on the throttle, barking their pipes steady - they piss me off too, but most people who ride through our neighbourhood are polite and respectful.

I know this much:

- There are inconsiderate people in every walk of our society.
- Change is the inevitable.
- Growth has both a positive and negative side.

My husband an I still lament the changes, we still long for the "old" days when our community was a peaceful and restful place at night. (School yards during the day are noisy and we have two directly out back of our home.)

What are the answers to teaching people consideration?
What are the answers to having our elected officials actually listening to their citizens and being fair, impartial and realistic in their approaches to situations?
What are the answers to noise pollution?

I have no idea.

Richard Jones says he's in it for the long haul, that he's tired of being ignored.

Is this a frivolous lawsuit or is it meant to force the city of Fort Saskatchewan to adopt a motorcycle only noise bylaw or more?

I'd love to go set up a video camera on this man's street and record the traffic and noise he says he experiences.  I wonder if all that noise he talks about is truly motorcycles.

I still can't fathom someone suing a non profit association that does so much good in their community.

Did it really need to go this far?

I wonder if at any point it was ever suggested that all parties get together and have a chat?

While I empathize with Mr. Jones, I think his way of going about things is horribly wrong minded, that's my personal feeling.

What say you?

I'll be contacting people from the Fort Saskatchewan Motorcycle Association and seeing if there is anything we can do to assist them in their legal battle. I know all too well how time consuming, how costly and how frustrating it is to be named in a suit that is just so wrong on so many levels.

Have a great day, and if you are blessed enough to be riding today, please, ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you.

Belt Drive Betty,
Editor & Rider

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  1. Lawsuit in the lower 48 over motorcycle noise and biker rallies: