Nfld. & Labrador

Signal Hill residents call for action in public meeting on motorcycle noise

A public meeting to discuss a petition against motorcycle noise tabled by residents of the Signal Hill neighbourhood grew heated Monday night at St. John's City Hall.

St. John's Coun. Jonathan Galgay holds public forum on noise in Signal Hill area

Derek Osborne, a resident of Signal Hill area of St. John's, airs his grievances with motorcycle noise and speeding traffic during a meeting at city hall. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

Derek Osborne did not mince words when he stepped to the microphone Monday night at a public meeting about a petition against motorcycle noise in his St. John's neighbourhood.

"I'm completely disgusted that I'm here tonight," said Osborne, who lives in the Signal Hill neighbourhood.

"This is not a new thing. Get your shit together. This is not appropriate. Get something done."

Around 40 people attended the meeting at St. John's City Hall, which was led by Ward 2 Coun. Jonathan Galgay, in conjunction with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Parks Canada.

The meeting grew heated, as many spoke out about loud engine noises that keep them up and sometimes jolt them awake in the middle of the night.

RNC Sgt. Paul Didham said that while there are regulations in place that disallow modified exhaust pipes, they're hard to enforce.

"We as police do not have the training to go and inspect motorcycles," he said.

Motorcycle noise has been an issue for years in the Signal Hill area of St. John's, according to residents who attended the public meeting at City Hall Monday night. (CBC)

Police hope to get more legislative help when a review of the Highway Traffic Act is completed — a process Didham said will begin soon.

A bother at all hours

Sheila Coleman lives in the middle of Signal Hill Road and said the noise wakes her up all hours of the night.

"Why should I have to lose my sleep?" she said. "I'm up sitting on the chair in the window, looking out the window. I'm really mad with everybody here tonight."

Coleman extended an offer to Galgay and Didham — live a day in my house.

"There's no peace up there. Come to my house. I'll give you a bedroom. Right on the front, you can sleep on the front and I'll put the bed right underneath the window for you," she said.

"I've asked you to come. I called four times last week to the police."

Sheila Coleman says the issue of motorcycle noise on Signal Hill has been ongoing for years. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

Speed not an issue

Coleman and several residents raised the issue of speeding on Signal Hill.

However, Stephen Fagan, with the city's traffic department, said their studies do not show speed to be a problem in the nieghbourhood.

From left, Parks Canada's Glenn Keough, Stephen Fagan, with City of St. John's traffic division, Coun. Jonathan Galgay and RNC Sgt. Paul Didham. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

Last week, a radar device registered the speed of each vehicle going up and down the hill, where the posted speed limit is 50 km/h. The average speed in a 24-hour period was 41 km/h.

Didham said police have also investigated speed in the area, using unmarked cars on Signal Hill, but have not found it to be a significant issue.

One resident also accused Galgay of opportunism, saying the issue was only being raised since it was an election year.

Galgay refuted the claim, saying it was unfair.

"If I could do everything you wanted to do, I'd have done it four years ago," Galgay said. "I am one member of council. One voice."

With files from Ryan Cooke


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