Monday, May 3, 2021

With Warm Weather Here Comes the Obnoxiously Loud Motorcycle Groups

It was a beautiful spring weekend and while the temperature is pleasant, the deafening sound of modified exhaust motorcycles engulfs the city and Sloop.  It's been problem for years now, but there has been some recent news about ways the city and police are intending to make some changes to curtail this nuisance (via Chicago Sun-Times):

With temperatures rising and motorcycle engines revving, Chicago aldermen launched another crackdown Friday to stop motorcycle clubs from wreaking life-threatening havoc on Lake Shore Drive and city streets.

The City Council’s Committee on Public Safety approved an ordinance championed by Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) empowering Chicago Police officers to impound motorcycles, dirt bikes and other “nonhighway vehicles” accused of drifting and drag racing.

The ordinance would also impose stiff fines against motorcyclists who operate without license plates.

In January 2020, CPD vowed to “swarm” motorcycle rally points and use helicopters, license plate recognition cameras and noise monitors on Lake Shore Drive to stop motorcycle clubs from continuing to wreak havoc.

The article discusses some of the challenges in a dealing with these issues, but also talks about where the police have had success:

Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) said the idea of surrounding motorcyclists stopped at gas stations has been tried before with great success.

“The BP Amoco at Lasalle and Ontario, for example. We used to meet them there and basically block them in the lot. We’d have a Streets and San flatbed. And they would remove stolen motorcycles. They would recover weapons, drugs. They’d get DUI arrests. It was a total jackpot for crime statistics,” Reilly said.

“Those have fallen off. I’m not sure why. But they were effective, and they did send a message when we did them early in the season.”

If you're not familiar with this phenomenon you probably don't live in the area as it's something that is almost impossible to miss.  Regardless, ABC7 has a video that talks to the issue and showcases the what happens:

Hopefully there is serious action vs. just talk this year. Noise nuisance is annoying, but swerving through traffic and going on sidewalks is simply a public hazard. 

In some sense we feel that the bikers view this as a game (to be fair it looks and feels like a video game in our eyes).  The police deterrent element is just a facet of the game, so it seems like they need to have some serious consequences to stop them.  Hopefully the city and police adequately respond.

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