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City of Edmonton looks to tackle excessive vehicle noise: ‘I think it’s long overdue’

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WATCH ABOVE: The City of Edmonton is looking to tackle heavy traffic noise. A report headed to committee this week finds complaints about vehicle noise have gone up over the years. And as Julia Wong reports, the city is testing new methods to bring those numbers down – Apr 1, 2018

The City of Edmonton is looking at different options to mitigate complaints over excessive vehicle noise.

The number of complaints, which Councillor Andrew Knack said were predominantly over big trucks and souped up sports cars, have recently plateaued but have risen dramatically since 2013.

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“The number of complaints to 311 might be small but I do believe that councillors, in particular, hear quite a bit of that concern. [It’s a] pretty major issue if you’re living there and you’re hearing it night after night after night. There are a lot of people living in the community that have concerns about how that person is impacting their quality of life.”
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The city identified 18 areas where the number of traffic noise complaints are higher than normal, including Jasper Avenue from 109 to 124 Streets, 124 Street from 118 to Jasper Avenue, Groat Road, Victoria Park Road and 114 Street from 82 Avenue to Belgravia Road.

Staff conducted a pilot project monitoring noise at four locations downtown, and new noise-monitoring equipment was used at two locations. The equipment works similar to photo radar in respect that a photo is captured when a vehicle exceeds pre-set noise levels.

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“There’s some new equipment that can be used to better deal with this to help with the enforcement. I think the goal, number one, as for most of our enforcement, it’s compliance first,” Knack said.

Other options the city is looking at include more education and more enforcement.

Greater enforcement is something Linda Roberge would like to see. Roberge has lived along Jasper Avenue for more than 30 years and said traffic noise has risen over the years.

“In the summertime, you try to let in a bit of air, it’s very noisy at night,” he said.

“It gets annoying. Everybody wants a breath of fresh air, especially if it’s hot, and if you have to close your windows because it’s too noisy, it’s not very good.”

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READ MORE: Edmonton councillor pushing for crack down on extremely noisy vehicles

Bruce McKittrick has also lived along Jasper Avenue for more than 20 years. He does not find the traffic noise overwhelming.

“I can hear traffic at night if the windows are open, but not to a degree that it actually keeps you awake or anything like that,” He said.

McKittrick supports more enforcement and more ticketing for excessive vehicle noise, if it will better life for his neighbours. But he also said that noise from vehicles is a price to pay for living downtown.

The Community and Public Services Committee will discuss the issue Wednesday.

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