by Don Scott
St. Helena (California) Herald-Star
June 22, 2016
I have been trying for many years to get local police and politicians to address the issue of motorcycles with illegal exhaust systems which plague our region with their noise. I have spoken before both Calistoga and St. Helena city councils, met with officials and police, and written numerous letters to newspapers on this subject.
I just read the article about St. Helena’s financial woes, and how they will be further damaged by the legal fees needed to fight Grant Reynolds’ lawsuit. If city finances are in trouble, why not issue citations for illegal exhausts on motorcycles? There are hundreds of loud bikes that thunder through St. Helena unimpeded by the authorities. Fix-it tickets could possibly generate a lot of revenue for the city.
Since the authorities have refused to deal with excessive noise from motorcycles as an environmental issue, as a crime being committed, or as a public disturbance, all the while claiming that it’s just too expensive and difficult to deal with, how about looking at this as a way to make money? What a win-win for both the city and the people who live here. The city gets some revenue, and the people and the environment get some relief from the noise.
As an added bonus, given the negative publicity that the Reynolds lawsuit is creating, making St. Helena quiet and more habitable would be a great demonstration to the public that the city government of St. Helena does care about the its people and its environment.