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Loud Motorcycles In Alderman's Crosshairs As LSD Noise Monitoring Starts

By Ted Cox | August 24, 2017 1:55pm | Updated on August 24, 2017 2:31pm
 Unmuffled motorcycles on Lake Shore Drive are among the targets of a noise-monitoring system.
Unmuffled motorcycles on Lake Shore Drive are among the targets of a noise-monitoring system.
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Creative Commons/Mindaugas Danys

LINCOLN PARK — The state has a new law allowing airport-style noise monitoring along Lake Shore Drive, and Lincoln Park's alderman intends to use it to combat motorcycles with loud mufflers.

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) sponsored a bill signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner this week allowing Chicago to install an airport-style noise-monitoring system along Lake Shore Drive.

"In order to address residents’ concerns, this law creates a first step in remediating the ambient noise problem along Lake Shore Drive,” Feigenholtz stated. “Data collection will provide empirical evidence of this problem."

She cited the support of lakefront Aldermen Michele Smith (43rd), Brendan Reilly (42nd), Brian Hopkins (2nd), Tom Tunney (44th), James Cappleman (46th) and Harry Osterman (48th).

Smith, however, immediately sought to put some teeth into any ordinance on the system to move through the City Council.

Saying the law's intent was "to reduce noise pollution along Lake Shore Drive," Smith said in an email to constituents Thursday, "I will be introducing a complementary ordinance in City Council to provide for installation and a mechanism for ticketing excessive noise offenders, such as unmuffled motorcycles."

Smith added that lakefront aldermen "welcome the opportunity to address this issue which has been the subject of many constituent complaints."

Reilly has sought to raise fines on loud motorcycles, not based on decibel data, but whether they've had their mufflers altered to increase the noise, which he said "contributes to noise pollution throughout Chicago, especially in Downtown Chicago's skyscraper canyons."

Motorcyclists, however, have insisted that the loud rumble of a Harley-Davidson, for instance, serves a purpose to alert surrounding motorists of their presence on the street.