The city must find a way to deal with noisy vehicles, a scourge of summer months in Edmonton, says Coun. Scott McKeen.

"People are fed up," McKeen told fellow councillors Tuesday. 

As soon as the weather warms up, complaints from residents and business owners with outdoor patios start pouring in, he said.

"This is not about motorcycles. This is about cars and trucks and motorcycles," added McKeen.

scott mckeen

"To me this is mobile social disorder", said Coun. Scott McKeen on Tuesday. (CBC)

But issuing more tickets is not the answer, he said.

McKeen said he prefers education as a tool to battle "mobile social disorder," rather than handing out fines.

He points to education campaigns that have been used elsewhere that could serve as models for Edmonton.

"Apparently, Australia did a really good campaign a few years ago that tied vehicle noise to manliness, or a lack thereof," McKeen said.

A campaign could also "communicate the fact that one person in one noisy vehicle late at night can disrupt the lives of thousands of Edmontonians," he said.

New technology tested

In October 2016, city staff tested new technology that measures vehicle noise.

"It's a similar concept to photo radar but instead of measuring a vehicle's speed with radar, it measures vehicle noise with a microphone," said Gord Cebryk, branch manager of parks and road services. 

"Based on that, it'll take a picture of a vehicle depending on what the threshold is for the noise."

According to city bylaws the sound from a motorcycle must be less than 92 decibels at idle, and 96 decibels at 2,000 r.p.m., city staff said.

Right now the city is using the technology for monitoring, Cebryk said. 

If councillors wanted to use the noise sensor in tandem with tickets for enforcement, that would require changes to city bylaws. Cebryk said there are no plans to change bylaws.

McKeen's motion directs city staff to measure the noise levels from vehicles in trouble spots downtown and along Whyte Avenue.

City staff have also been directed to look at what can be done through an education campaign.

A report will go to the community and public services committee in about 12 weeks.