Harley-Davidsons roar too loud for Park City, leading to police action | ParkRecord.com

Harley-Davidsons roar too loud for Park City, leading to police action

Enforcement targets noisy exhaust systems on Main Street, mostly warnings given

Groups of motorcycles are oftentimes seen on Main Street, long a destination for riders in northern Utah. The Park City Police Department has made exhaust systems that are loud one of the enforcement focuses this summer.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

The roar of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle can be too loud for some in Park City.

The Park City Police Department during the summer has made motorcycle and vehicle exhaust systems that are loud one of the enforcement focuses. And Harley-Davidsons are known for a distinctive roaring sound that has come to be associated with the motorcycles.

The police in mid-July provided an update to Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council detailing the enforcement efforts targeting the noisy exhaust systems. The update lists nine cases between June 12 and July 3 involving motorcycle or vehicle noise. Harley-Davidson motorcycles were listed as the culprit in five of the nine cases. Some of the other cases involved a Chevrolet pickup truck, a Ford Mustang and a Nissan GT-R.

People driving motorcycles have long seen Park City as a destination during a ride through the northern parts of Utah. There are sometimes large groups of motorcyclists arriving at about the same time on Main Street, magnifying the noise with numerous riders moving up and down the shopping, dining and entertainment strip in a line. The Main Street core is notorious for an echo, and the motorcycles can oftentimes be heard blocks away. The motorcycles sometimes are parked in a row, adding to the visuals of the streetscape.

“You’re kind of in that canyon. Things reverberate,” said Phil Kirk, a police captain who was one of the authors of the update to the elected officials.

He said the noise from motorcycles is seen as a “quality-of-life issue” in Park City and can be considered to be a nuisance, similar to cases involving people playing music at a high volume.

“People don’t like listening to loud music, loud exhaust systems,” Kirk said.

He said engine revving is an issue as well.

The increased enforcement by the Police Department is expected to continue indefinitely. The primary location is the Main Street core.

The update to the elected officials indicated warnings were issued in eight of the nine cases between June 12 and July 3. In the other case, a so-called fix-it ticket was issued to a 52-year-old person from North Salt Lake on June 12. The warnings included cases involving people ranging in age from 17 to 59 and from places like Park City, Heber City, Salt Lake City and Wanship.

The update said City Hall staffers are “confident in this approach of escalating enforcement to encourage compliance and communicate Park City’s intent to manage livability.”

The motorcycle issue is an example of the decades-old strains between Main Street and the surrounding Old Town neighborhood. People who live on residential streets in Old Town, in some cases just steps off Main Street, have long lodged complaints about noise, crowds and traffic seeping into the neighborhood. Park City leaders over the years have attempted to find a balance between the desires for a vibrant Main Street and the wishes for peacefulness in the Old Town neighborhood.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.