4 wheelers again

catherinet(5 IN)June 4, 2006

I'm so depressed. There were a couple new houses that went up on the other side of the woods. We own some of the woods, and the other people own the rest.

Yesterday, I was working in the backyard with my watergarden and I kept hearing 4 wheelers all day. I took a little ride and discovered that the new house owners had at least 3 new 4 wheelers. I am so bummed out. Peace and quiet in the woodlands......will it ever be the same?

I'm so sad.

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Just be sure your property is protected by fencing and signage to keep the intruders off and out of!
Depressed will not accomplish anything but keep you down and unable to take necessary action to protect what you care about.
I definitely know about noise as I live with it everyday!
I live next to a public park and the city installed a
basketball court just a hundred feet or so away from my property line. So it is like 12/7 of yelling, screaming, cursing (which is offensive to me though I use a few choice ones myself on occasion), and the like. I really cannot recall any period of real peace and quiet here over the past 28 years and believe me I have seen some very cruel
things coming out of the park. It has caused me to really have the lowest opinion of people though I realize that there are good people out there-that is one reason why I am here-but with the lifestyle I have (alternative) most in this town are living on another planet as far as I am concerned!!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 7:02AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks for the words of encouragement terrestrial man. I, too, live in a different universe than most people, so I understand the challenge.
This area is changing so rapidly. I don't do well with change....especially when it feels like it was heaven to start with, and mankind is ruining it.
Thanks again for your encouragment.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 9:06AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

A lot of people I know buy those expensive toys and are bored with them before too long. Let's hope your people are the same.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 5:26PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Terry,
I'll keep my fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 5:43PM
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The accident rate for inexperienced drivers of those toys is extremely high and more often than not, it involves serious injury. The odds are in your favor that one of them will be involved in an accident soon and that will be the end of the noise problem. You might also check with your local code enforcement division(it is often under police services) to see if a noise ordinance exists, if so, insist that it be enforced. If not, begin working to have one enacted, I believe there is also a Federal statue regulating noise levels.
I have an ultra-sensitive hearing problem and mow and blow operators in the neighborhood, with their poorly maintained equipment and worn out mufflers, drive me indoors, post haste, so I can certainly empathize with you.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 8:10PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Rb,
Well I certainly don't wish them harm. I just wish they could develop a quieter interaction with nature. Unfortunately, legally, I can't do anything. They only use it during daylight hours and stay on their property. The only possible thing I could do is have the DNR officer make sure they have adequate mufflers.
I suppose alot of people would think I was crazy for complaining, since we have a large piece of property, with a big woods between us and the 4wheelers. But sound is sound, and it doesn't seem to be slowed down out here in the country. We've had a family of barred owls nesting in the woods between us, and I certainly hope they don't make trails in the woods, and scare off the owls.
Hopefully, what terry said will happen, and they will eventually get bored and not ride them so much.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 7:41AM
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jclark42(z6 CT)

C- I understand where you're coming from as well. We have a similar and growing problem with the same in our area. I've been able to prevent them from tearing up my property by posting signs, calling police (who admittedly can't do anything), and putting up barriers (plus more than once chasing from my property). Yes, these things are a fad, but you should't have to wait until they get bored to restore your peace and quiet.

Here are a couple of remedies you can look into.. As already mentioned, investigate noise ordinances. If your city/town doesn't have one, act to get one. We now have an ordinance in our town. Ask the police/EPA/DMV to investigate whether the pollution controls on the vehicles have been modified. Many times the after-market exhausts (which are added to increase noise and performance) involve removing or disabling the catalytic converter, which may be illegal. Finally, if there's a chance that they are on wetlands, report the activity to your inland wetlands commission. In the next town over, a family was found to have created trails through wetlands on their own property for ATV use. The IW commission fined them a considerable amount and they were forced to repair the damage.

Hang in there.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 10:27AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks jclark,
You've given me some good suggestions!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 11:36AM
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radagast(US east coast)

Yep, I have about the same opinion of humanity as terrestrial man based upon what I've seen over the years.

Thanks to absurd housing prices down here in Maryland, I am stuck in an apartment, so I get to "interact" with all manners of two-legged refuse, though buying a house isn't a sure-fire way to solve that problem, sadly.

We had some teenage brats with a 4-wheeler last year, running around the apartment lot complex and around the woods. Eventually, somebody got them in trouble and that stupidity ended... now, we're just back to trash being tossed in the woods... not much of an improvement, but at least it is quieter.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 8:18AM
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I'm with ya'll. In fact, we got so tired of putting up with things in the city on small lots that we moved to 9 acres of peace in the country. We've been in our house 6.5 years now and don't regret it a bit. It's a bit more work keeping up some of it, and we have a bit longer commute but I wouldn't trade back for anything.

You have received some good suggestions about the ATVs. If the wooded area is considered 'green space', and they are damaging the area, then you may be able to stop it. If your state has a Department of Environmental Management (they could be tied to EPA), contact them for advice, in addition to the other suggested options for noise control, emissions, etc. All good suggestions. Just keep digging and you'll finally get some quiet time back.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 3:47PM
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Dear Catherine,
There may be more going on than just the ATVs. Kids in my area are using pellet guns. Yes, they now have rapid-fire guns that shoot plastic pellets. And to be even more "safe", you can buy biodegradable pellets. Good grief! (I finally had to ask the mother of one of the boys terrorizing the birds, to get him and his friends off my property. When they were little, it was okay for them to play behind my home. They were only using water bazookas...well, okay, so they don't use water pistols anymore. But, it's only water. The pellet guns I can't handle. And you know, after the kids left, I could hear the birds calling to one another in relief. So sad.)

I doubt their only toys are the ATVs. You may want to be proactive and send the family a letter stating that you value the wildlife in the area, and do not want ATVs and/or other activity in the adjoining woods.

Reason: Wishing and hoping are not going to do it.
Put expectations in writing....clear, diplomatic, fact-based.

Sure...you may get a wicked response, but sometimes, people don't realize how their actions impact others. You may just get a positive outcome.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 4:47PM
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bhrost(zone 5 NY)

Interestingly enough when I think to myself about how nice it would be to live in the country, I remind myself that people out there have to put up with things like ATV's. Seems like every time I take a ride in the countryside I see someone on an ATV.

Here in town Boom Boxes (or Boom cars more precisely)are the most pernicious noise source. If you live on a street, or even near a street, you are vulnerable. These things can be loud enough that some Einstein or Tesla a couple blocks away at an all-night mini-mart can wake you up and keep you up for some time. Interesting aside, there is a lovely brick home next to this mini-mart (built before it) that has been totally abandoned for the past few years, all boarded up, I wonder why?

Of course there is the late night motorcyclist. I know even the big ones can be quiet, but many of them don't have mufflers I think and get goosed at early hours of the mornin - so once again some knucklehead's whim decides whether you get sleep or not.

One of the difficulties with ordinance enforcement (where they do exist) is that all these products are multi-million dollar industries - with a lot of pull. If you don't live in an upscale area your victories will probably be few and pyhric. I used to live next to a bar - one of the lower rungs of hell to borrow from Dante. There were city ordinances as well as beverage control laws being violated on a daily basis - with dozens of neighborhood people making complaints, even providing camcorder evidence. The police did next to nothing. What eventually brought them down was cheating the state on taxes. The good side was we all got 100,000 years knocked off our suffering in Purgatory for enduring that here on earth.

I don't mean to be discouraging - sometimes you do just have to outwait the transient irritation. But this noise thing is a plague no one is able to escape totally - we just have to hope the world gets civilized faster so we can all live in Camelot.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 8:31PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Maybe the problem is that I can't identify with people who need to do very loud things. I know it might appear that I'm just inflexible and rigid, but it's just where I stand in the universe.
I think it helps to raise your children (or affect other children somehow), to realize that we are not the only important things on this earth, and the earth isn't necessarily here JUST for our use and abuse.
It doesn't help for me to have ADD, and when I hear a noise, I really focus on it and can't think of anything else until the noise is gone! What a bummer!
I must admit, though, that I have frogs singing at night, right outside my bedroom window, and it's like a lullaby to me!
One of my favorite things is being in a woods that's big enough so that when a bird sings, you can hear a type of echo. It's just so peaceful and good.
I really like Sara Stein's suggestion that everyone in all neighborhoods, let the back section of their property grow up wild, so that all through towns and suburbs, there's this wild section......even though it might only be 20-40' wide.
Anyhow.....back to 4-wheelers.
Bhrost.....you are right about the multi-million dollar industries. Unfortunately, money talks the loudest any more. But I keep hoping that people might still realize that there is much more to lose sometimes with that philosophy, than just money.
I get such peace in the woods. I just never want to lose them.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 8:50AM
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bhrost(zone 5 NY)

Catherine! I know what you mean about being able to hear the birds. We used to be able to hear a mockingbird serenading throughout the nite. Then this bar started to have band concerts. You'd think that playing loud music till 3 in the morning would bring some legal repercussions - not so. When it got late in summer when the crickets started chirping - same sad story, blitzed out by rock and roll.

You are right about not being able to ignore it - it's the audio equivalent of second hand smoke constantly blown in your face. We outlasted it. My neighborhood is far from perfect but it is like paradise to me since this bar closed down. At least boom cars and loud vehicles move on. A band plays for hours, and then another couple hours of drunken noisy clowns in mufferless old beaters and pickups straggling off. I remember at the time finding a site called the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse - I'm not sure if they are still on line, but they had articles on noise issues and advice on how to deal with it.

If I remember there were even cases of people killing ATV'ers over the annoyance. I don't condone violence but I can understand the torture this can be. I know the perpetrators of noise often think you are "telling them what to do" by asking them to keep quiet. Of course they are telling you what to do - listen to their noise. I believe the U.S. military uses loud rock and roll as one of their "acceptable" forms of torture. I think this tells you something about the effects of noise. It's like someone at the control panel of the terror machine, subjecting you to something you can't stop.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 6:06PM
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I really think the issue has to do with education! And for the government a redefinition of the term: RAPE.
In education: ban all electronics from school and try to get away from the blaring bullhornish loudspeaker systems (big brotherish) making announcements to the classes. Noise or the tolerance towards noise or even the need for having noise is being taught in the schools by the way the interactions between the students and the teachers are occurring. Of course how can you begin when the society is already corrupted?
Government has to acknowledge that a leading cause of criminality is based upon the amount of exposure to noise. Noise can serve as a barrier to effective communication within homes and this is the crux for effective rearing of children. If your dad is glued to the box watching yelling and screaming sports events and is doing his share as he gulps down brews then what chance does a kid have in getting help with his tree house, his homework, or just to play??? Government needs to realize that noise within the society that intrudes into the inner sanctum of ones home or even ones sleep is not different than if someone rapes their daughters or accosts their infants. The level of horror may be different but the horror is the same. The only way is complain, complain, complain. They need to have it stuck in their faces that noise is the number one problem that this society has to deal with before it can really begin the task of providing an effective environment for the creative thinking that America needs to tackle the problems that exist and those that are arising from the failure of current government to even identify.

My own conflict with noise polluters is first confront the polluter. Ask them to cool it. Then if that fails call the man and ask them to cool the polluters. In my city the ordinance is that if you can hear it at the street then shut it down. If you are driving and blaring it out then you can be citated and fined a hundred or so bucks for the "freedom"-drivers have to be able to hear emergency vehicles in order to avoid any other accidents! These bozos that vibrate down the road are only screwing up their hearing and will find out when they are older just how badly! Appropriate judgment but I still yearn for that old thunderbold from the sky!!! Now back to the cartoons!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2006 at 2:33PM
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Noise pollution... man! do I understand it. We have nearly 3 acres on a very scenic, very heavily travelled road. What drives me nuts? motorcycles! I can't decide which is worse, the screaming "crotch rockets" that kids wind up to about 10K rpm before shifing gears, or the no muffler, "loud pipes save lives" crowd that barrell by usually in excess of the speed limit. We don't have air conditioning and the windows are open throughout the summer months. The sound of the TV or the stereo is absolutely obliterated by them.

It's easier in the winter; we hear snowmobiles or ATVs in the distance, but the terrain limits their travels. I sympathize.

But I have to say this... I have a number of "redneck" friends who love their snowmobiles and ATVs. And they're "cool" about using them, too! pretty much, they're the same people who like to hunt. And I allow them to park here when they want to hunt the large tract behind our home(in return for some venison!). In Maine, there are public service ads on TV stations that address the necessity of respecting property rights. There are very large, very active snowmobile and ATV clubs in this state. And they have, by and large, been very active in improving relations with property owners who've been offended by noise and rampant violations.

I'm basically "cool" with anyone who wants to use the available "woods", as long as everyone is willing to follow some rules. Pleasantly, I've found a great deal of common ground with people who opt for that sort of recreation. I DON'T love the noise, but it's not just about what I want.

And, as another poster pointed out, the cache wears off... and the quiet returns. Sit tight... dollars against doughnuts it'll get better.

(NO I-pods or cell phones allowed when customers come to my shop. I pointedly tell them to turn them off. I do the very same thing in the shop where I work!)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 2:27PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I can't speak to ordinances or laws in Catherine's county, but I know here, when you're out in the county pretty much anything goes. Wanna have a beer party with a rock and roll band play all night? Go ahead. Wanna ride 4 wheelers all night, go ahead. There's nothing to stop them. In town, yes, out in the country, no. I know most people move out to the country to get away, to find peace and quiet. Then you get the others who move out there because they can do what they want when they want. It's rude. It's inconsiderate. But there isn't anything illegal about it. In my experience though, these people get bored with their toys very quickly. Or as someone pointed out, somebody has an accident.

Catherine, check with the laws in your county. I'm not real keen on writing anyone a letter. They have the right to make noise on their property. As long as it isn't illegal, they're free to do as they please. As much as that hurt to write, it often comes into play with these kinds of scenarios, and often times, you come out as being the bad guy.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 6:10PM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

With luck and time the woods will still be there when they are gone.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 9:43AM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

Yep, we have it here, too, in my quiet, small town. I've been a city dweller all my life and managed to get along with the noise most of the time, but I cannot understand why people want to bring loud motorcycles to quiet places and mess them up. My town is scenic and sits on a scenic road. We welcome bikers who want to visit and stop for lunch, a beer or whatever. We don't even think bad thoughts when they ride loud bikes, so long as they stay on the main road. But what possesses these people to veer off onto the little residential side streets with their racket??? There's nothing to see, nothing to do, just a few people walking dogs and pulling weeds.

At least they stay off the horse trails. In my old area, we ran into snowmobiles and ATVs on the horse trails all the time - pretty scary if you're not sitting on a bomb-proof pony.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 2:03PM
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radagast(US east coast)

Personally, I suspect the reason they go down side streets to make noise IS to be annoying. By angering everyone else around them, it makes them "cool" and "tough" and validates their own pathetic existence. They feel unimportant if they are not getting in somebody else's face and annoying them.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 7:59AM
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Hawthorne trees discourage ATVs. The thorns work their way into the very expensive ATV tires and the birds like the berries. I knew a man who brush-hogged his hawthorne patch and had to but 4 new tractor tires. The tires, once pierced by hawthornes, cannot be salvaged as the thorns break off inside the tires and keep working their way inward.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 12:49PM
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ahughes798(z5 IL)

How could someone listening to an I-Pod possibly bother you?

I'm pro-quiet too, but that's a bit much.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 10:45PM
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