As far as I am concerned, Utah is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. It has everything from the Rockies to desert canyons. Its wilderness is pristine and vast, which lends itself to exploration and adventure.
However, over the past three years, the quality of life here has become intolerable due to the increase in all-terrain vehicles on our roads. Our neighborhoods are no longer quiet sanctuaries, but short cuts for people who don’t seem to care about locals’ standard of life. They drive around usually in groups of five or more, wearing headphones as a means of communicating over the excessive noise they make. There are now more UTV rental companies in our town than bike shops, which makes Moab the MOTORHEAD capital of the world. It has got to the point where hotels on main street hand out earplugs to their guests upon check-in, and locals are suffering from high anxiety and health-related issues.
Many people come to Utah, and specifically Moab, to explore the spectacular scenery of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. They come to hike and to enjoy the peace and quiet of the wilderness. These people are being driven away, pun intended, by the motorized mayhem that has flooded our small town.
When HB0082 was put forward by Senator Lincoln Fillmore in 2017, I am sure he had no idea of the consequences for a little town like Moab. Or did he? Many people living here are at their ‘wit’s end’, which is compounded by the feeling they are not being listened to. Perhaps to those not affected by this noise it sounds hyperbolic, but if you were to experience the constant drone of machines running around your neighborhood at 95 decibels, far exceeding Moab Municipal Code guidelines which nobody seems to be enforcing, you might just feel the same way.