There are a few people I have heard from or about in the Moab Sun News recently that deserve our thanks.
First, Finn Wanczyk, who suggested we contact the county council and administrators about the noisy Rally on the Rocks event to express our desire not to have this event approved next year (“Urge county to reject UTV event permit,” May 26 – June 1, 2016, Moab Sun News).
Like Finn, I was appalled at the seemingly un-muffled noise these toys made as they ran up and down my street all day and well into the evening during the event. On Saturday, May 21, the noise and traffic were particularly unpleasant and relentless.
I will be letting Grand County know how I feel by contacting Grand County Council Administrator Ruth Dillon, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Council Office Assistant/ Special Event Coordinator KaLeigh Welch at email@example.com, to urge them not to approve permits for this event in the future, or any similar events that make life so intolerable for those of us who live in Moab. That includes the Motos in Moab event that brought 800 motorcycles to Moab for our already busiest weekend of the year, Memorial Day, and which I assume also had a permit. (How could so large and disruptive an event not require a permit?)
Motos in Moab founder and organizer Juan Coles was quoted in the Moab Sun News: “We didn’t organize the rides,” Coles said. “We wanted people to go off and see things on their own” (“Holiday weekend: busy, but safe,” June 2 – 8, 2016, Moab Sun News). This led to groups of loud cycles wandering seemingly aimlessly through town and the environs, never in groups of less than six, often up and down my street, and especially out on Kane Creek Boulevard, where the traffic was very heavy, very noisy and very disrespectful of other users. (As a biker, I am legally mandated a three-foot space from other vehicles, which was violated many times by both cycles and UTVs.)
Which brings me to our next person to thank, Kalen Jones, who also lives on a street impacted by the traffic and noise and who took it upon himself to measure the noise from the cycles, finding many exceeded the city’s noise standards, as reported in the same article. He has made available Moab Traffic Comment Forms to those who are impacted by the noise.
To be perfectly clear, I am not against tourism in Moab or the crowds it can generate; it has been responsible for my jobs here for over 25 years, indeed, the livelihoods of many if not most of us.
Yes, we can’t turn left off of Main Street and have to tailor our trips to the supermarket to avoid the rush of tourists at certain hours, but these are bearable inconveniences. But there is no reason why we should be subjected to an invasion of swarms of noisy vehicles throughout our town in the name of tourism; indeed, this is likely to turn off those who come here for the peace and beauty of the area. So, please, if you feel this way, contact the council now, while these hellish weekends are still fresh in our minds.
Thanks also to Steve Russell for describing it as “Mad Max in Moab,” also in the June 2 Moab Sun News.
And, finally, thanks to Bruce Hammer, whose June 2 Sun News letter (“Approve the permit, please”) suggested in the last paragraph of his letter that, “The traffic problem is quickly and simply solved by enforcing the public nuisance and traffic laws already on the books. Give the city more revenue with the tickets our dedicated police officers will write the offenders and help Moab improve and maintain the bike/ walking paths. So when the morons in the UTVs go home, we can all enjoy the quiet of the streets.”
Oddly, this great suggestion came in a letter telling us we ought to accept the noise. Since Mr. Hammer wrote us his opinion from his home in Manti of what we in Moab should do, I would suggest to him and to Motos organizer Coles of Sandy, that henceforth it be called “Motos in Manti” and moved there. And I am sure the good people of that town will want it scheduled for whatever their already-busiest weekend is.