Frustrated by late night-noise that is often attributed to motorcycles, residents along Peachtree Road are forming a group to lobby for stronger enforcement.
Ben Howard, chairman of the Buckhead Condo Alliance, announced the creation of this group at the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods August meeting. Although he is not leading the movement, he is helping spread the word, as he is frustrated by the lack of enforcement. Howard, who lives in the Alhambra condominiums on Peachtree Road, said residents historically have had issues with motorcycles.
“Simply put, when motorcycles come and go in groups, their noise is amplified and disturbs life along the corridor, especially during late evening and night hours,” Howard said.
The city code requires noise stays under certain decibel levels, but part of the problem, residents say, is the motorcycles are gone before police can come to the area to measure the noise. Residents complain motorcycles rev the engines, speed and generally cause noise.
Howard has heard that the city’s noise ordinance is difficult for Atlanta Police to enforce, so the group is looking for ways to strengthen it.
“The basic feedback that I get is that the city has provided an ordinance that has such strict requirements that it’s almost unenforceable by APD, especially as it relates to individual motor vehicles,” he said.
APD spokesperson Officer Lisa Bender said Zone 2 officers are working to enforce the ordinance.
“Officers and supervisors in Zone 2 are aware of the situation and are diligently working to alleviate the problem, as best they can, with increased officer presence and by monitoring the noise levels in the area,” Bender said.
Howard is concerned about the motorcycle noise, but also commercial loading and unloading, garbage pick-up and construction.
“I’m hoping that the traction this group gains, gets support from people throughout the city so that we can address an obsolete ordinance by updating it to give everyone a chance to peacefully live, work and play within the city of Atlanta,” he said.
Jaci Johnson, who lives in the Buckhead Forest neighborhood, is helping lead the group and hopes to get the noise ordinance enforced or changed if it is unenforceable.
“We want drivers of all vehicles to realize people live in those apartments and condos and to be considerate during normal sleeping hours,” Johnson said. “Racing and showing off should be done elsewhere and at other times, but not on major streets that combine residential and commercial interests. We want to raise awareness of this long standing issue which is affecting many people who feel powerless over the situation.”
Janet Mozely, who lives in the Mathieson Exchange building on the corner of Peachtree Road and Mathieson Drive, said residents are not complaining about late night noise from nearby bars, but are focusing on motorcycles. Mozely said eight to 10 motorcycles make noise, which she described as “deafening,” from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. most nights.
“We all call 911 like the police have instructed, but it hasn’t brought on any changes,” Mozely said. “Please know that I am not voicing complaints about the bars. They were here before we were and I knew that when I bought my home. The motorcycles racing up and down Peachtree and revving their engines is my concern.”
Stephanie Sloan, another resident, said problems mostly occur on Friday and Saturday nights. She suggested a stronger police presence or additional regulations on motorcycles.
“It’s shocking what motorcycle drivers are doing these days, not only from creating noise, but also driving dangerously through the streets,” Sloan said.