This evening, my son and I were taking a walk through our neighborhood. As we came closer to 500 West, the noise became increasingly loud. We could see one UTV after the other progressing down the road. My son put his hands over his ears and moaned: “I am UTVed out!”

He is only three, but I think that he perfectly captured what so many of us (locals and tourists) are feeling right now. We are fed up and put out by the noise we have to endure. It’s gotten worse and worse, and no matter where you live the noise can go from a slight disturbance to downright intolerable.

This isn’t an us-versus-them issue. It’s not about politics, or even about a user group. It’s about quality of life. It’s about the fact that we are being assaulted with loud and incessant noise in our town and even in our homes. Can we envision a Moab where UTVs are still driving all through town, but they’re just quieter? Or going back to the days when you had to put them on a trailer to get to the trails? Certainly riding on trails is much more fun than driving past neighborhoods. Think of the money that could be generated by shuttle companies. In any case, it is evident that we need to get local control of the situation with widespread community input.

I am not suggesting that we get rid of the entire UTV scene. It’s as much a part of Moab as the myriad of other activities people flock here to enjoy. But the level of noise that permeates our town as a result of them becoming street legal has to be dealt with.

Surely there is some sort of compromise that allows the enjoyment of UTVs without losing one’s enjoyment of living (or visiting) here because of their noise? While we figure it out, perhaps the flashing signs coming into town which say “masks required,” should add “and earplugs.”

I, for one, will be thrilled when both are no longer necessary.

Sarah Barstow