Rapid City (S.D.) Journal: The most common complaint from area residents to the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally is the noise. For one week in August, loud motorcycles and loud music disturb the normally peaceful Black Hills.
The Sturgis City Council took a stab at curbing the noise by passing an ordinance that aims at turning down the volume during the rally and all the other weeks of the year.
The ordinance would prohibit:
Disruptive noise or use of sound equipment in public or outside between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Operating construction equipment between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Operating sound equipment in a vehicle causing any disruptive noise or a vibration 20 feet from the vehicle.
If the rest of us complain about the noise of the motorcycle rally, imagine what it’s like for yearlong Sturgis residents. The proposed ordinance is in response to Sturgis residents who want the party that is the rally to tone it down in the early morning hours.
We wonder how such an ordinance would be enforced. The Sturgis council did not include a decibel threshold since because the entire rally is so loud, detecting a noise source would be difficult.
Chad Jagow, manager of Easyriders Saloon, noted that motorcycles can register from 95 to 105 decibels just on the street. “It would be almost impossible to police this,” he said.
The downtown bar owners cooperated with the city in writing the noise ordinance, so there is reason to hope that they will make an effort to keep the volume turned down on loud music, at least in the pre-dawn hours when many people are trying to get some sleep.
We hope the downtown bars cooperate further by obeying the noise ordinance.
We like the Sturgis rally, and during that one week in the year, the noise is something we have gotten used to.
Good luck with trying to quiet it down.