I recently moved to North Adams. It's a wonderful livable city that grows on you. It has extraordinary people, architecture and outstanding vistas that attest to its industrial past and growing present.
But there's a blight here that needs to be addressed: The noise and self-indulgent operation of some motorcycles are out of control.
A. Some motorcycle owners' argument that "people can't hear us" is absurd.
Sitting recently on a friend's porch at least a mile from the center of town, on an otherwise quiet evening, the noise was still audible. I live downtown where the repeated amplified echo of the sound off the hard brick surfaces of beautiful buildings like churches and private residences is absolutely ridiculous.
B. Recently, I saw a motorcycle operator do wheelies on one of the short, narrow streets downtown, which is also a public safety violation that needs to be addressed. The streets are not motorcyclists' personal driveways, and a motorcycle is not an adolescent plaything, but a regulated motor vehicle.
C. Some would argue that it's a matter of the bike owners' self-expression or personal freedom. That's another bogus argument, because there is a significant difference between self-expression and reckless self-indulgence.
D. I've seen and heard numerous instances of operators who are courteous and respectful in how they ride their bikes and can only hope that their good sense would be emulated by other operators.
Speed limits and sound decibel level regulations on motorcycles need to be enforced now, so that this blight on the city of North Adams can be controlled.