This is a town, not an amusement park. But it seems like local officials and some business owners don’t recognize the impact of their decisions. It is SO much louder here than last year, and those coming to recreate after being pent up during a pandemic seem to have an entitlement and intensity that is also new.

Razors and other UTVs could have better mufflers and quieter exhaust systems. Heck, they could be electric and totally silent—imagine that! Instead, they are intentionally designed to be loud, because for some it is fun to make that kind of noise. But for those of us who live here in our community, who are trying to have a life in this town, it’s not so fun. For us, the result is annoying and at times deafening sound going later into the night and starting earlier in the morning than ever before.

At the south end of town, the sound bounces off the Moab Rim so loudly that often the noise pollution is as loud as living in a big city next to a freeway. And for some ridiculous reason, now groups of UTV renters, sometimes with local guides and sometimes just running in packs, drive up and down dead-end residential streets, sending our kids and dogs scattering and literally rattling our windows. When will it end?

These vehicles should never have been considered street legal, and in many parts of the country they aren’t. Some people in other towns aren’t facing this the same way Moabites are. The ‘Throttle Down in Town’ campaign isn’t working and how could it, when it gets a fraction of the funding and support that UTV rental and tourism ad campaigns get.

With more places to rent UTVs appearing each season and Bureau of Land Management leadership committed to opening even more wild spaces to loud use, those who want some quiet recreation or just some peace and quiet in our own homes are wondering if Moab is still a place for us. It’s time for the city and county leaders and decision-makers to make decisions that support the people who live here.

Celia Alario