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Urban noise, smells - sirens etc.


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#1 Holden West

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:12 AM

Put your noise complaints here!

Victoria plagued by too many sirens

Times Colonist
Published: Saturday, December 09, 2006

We are a couple from Germany, 65 and 67 years old, and visited Victoria for three weeks this year. It has been our third visit since December 2005. We love this town and intend to come back as often as we can.

Unfortunately, this time things changed a lot. There was not a single night when we were not woken up by the sound of sirens on the street, by police, fire department or ambulance -- and not only once, but many times at night. We found this "constant state of emergency" rather disturbing in what we considered a safe place.

The sirens kept reminding us of the bomb alarms at night in the Second World War, when we were kids.

Not even in cities like San Francisco, Vancouver or Paris have we ever heard so many sirens. How do Victoria's citizens cope with this disturbing noise?

When you hear a siren in Europe, then there is real trouble. Is there that much trouble in Victoria? We sure hope not, because besides the sirens it is one of the most beautiful and charming places we have ever seen.

Magda and Siegfried Herold,

Bensheim, Germany.

================

It occurs to me that Herr and Frau Herold are disturbed by our ambulances possibly because ours sound so differently than theirs (ours go whooooWhooo...theirs go Beeee Booooo Beeee Booo).

I've tuned out most ambulance sounds and I wouldn't be surprised if our visiting friends subconciously tuned their ambulances out when they are at home too. I bet if I were in Germany now, I'd be complaining about the increase in sirens.

BTW, compared to Victoria, Bensheim, Germany has half the population spread over twice the area.

At night, I've noticed emergency vehicles turning off their sirens on empty straightaways, only turning them on when approaching intersections.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#2 Mike K.

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:18 AM

I think our abundance of sirens has a lot to do with the following (some points as per the mention of others in a different post):

- dense population, about 120,000 people within ~35 sq km or so
- elderly population, requiring more frequent and usually more serious medical attention requiring several sets of medics, thus several ambulances rushing around
- PERCEPTION. In Victoria a siren is deemed unnecessary by some folks, but in Vancouver they wouldn't question it because Vancouver is a "big city"

Did you know that there are only six to eight ambulances on duty in Victoria at any one time? That's right. So now you know why they opt to rush from scene to scene. If they're slow, and a blip occurs where a few more calls overlap than they can handle then there's serious issue for concern.

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#3 Holden West

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:19 AM

Here's a subject dear to my heart---jackass, small-dicked Harley riders with noisy straight pipes. Shaddap!!!!

Excess noise pollution no way to stop accidents

Times - Colonist
Nov 1, 2001

As a counterpoint to John Magi's letter justifying noise from his Harley;

You have a valid point in that motorcyclists are hit every day by other drivers. In my 27 years of traffic collision investigation, many vehicle/motorcycle collisons occur at intersections with a left- turning driver failing to see the oncoming motorcyclist.

There were also many collisions where the motorcyclist was at fault. To think that creating noise will prevent that type of collision is fanciful. In today's well-insulated vehicles, drivers have difficulty hearing the scream of emergency vehicle sirens aimed directly at them (ask any police officer!), let alone a loud exhaust from an oncoming motorcycle.

To avoid collisions you would do better to have a daytime running light and be brightly dressed, instead of the usual black garb on a black motorcycle. Operating within the rules of the road also helps.

You probably know that removing the baffles from your muffler is illegal. To justify it by saying it may not be as noisy as trucks, buses or some lawnmowers is about as self-centered and inconsiderate as you can get. I suppose that if I lived near an airport I could to take the muffler off my car and justify it by saying it's not nearly as loud as a 737 at takeoff!

Noise pollution, from whatever source, is still pollution and your consideration for your fellow citizens lacks some respect and common sense.

You are correct in that it is unfair to paint all motorcyclists with the same "menace" brush. But as a fellow motorcyclist, I have no respect for those who flagrantly break the law in their manner of riding while creating excessive noise to bolster their failing egos. Keep riding that way and I'll keep writing tickets that way.

Bert Vermeer,

Sidney.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#4 Mike K.

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:23 AM

One of our neighbours who (thankfully) moved on a little while back had one of these loud bikes. And someone became so enraged over the noise he/she tipped it over one night.

The guy claimed his pipes were a safety feature so that other vehicles could hear him approaching. Perhaps someone forget to tell the bike manufacturers that their factory pipes were endangering riders and they had to purchase custom pipes out of fear of being run over :lol:

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#5 Icebergalley

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 12:06 PM

Haven't been "bassed" lately by one of those deep throated car sound systems..

They sure can make the ground quake...

#6 Holden West

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 12:38 PM

^I think they sound pathetic...and not just because of the decibel level.

When they go by all you can hear is the ridiculous sound of the car vibrating and shaking.

It's hard to be impressed by a car that sounds like every bolt, plastic panel and screw is about to fall out.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#7 Rorschach

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 12:57 PM

I think it has to do with too many people responding to the same call with lights and sirens. Here in Vic West there always seems to be sirens blaring and I have carefully observed what happens. Most often it is a minor medical emergency where someone calls for an ambulance. An ambulance is sent, but also a fire truck. Also, a police car and a backup police officer and then a police supervisor vehicle. And very often, unassigned police officers or neighboring jurisdiction officers or traffic officers or Sheriff's officers or various chiefs and supervisors join in the fun.

So, for some reason unknown to me five different emergency vehicles are required for every minor emergency and all of them must have lights and sirens going to bypass traffic lights and stop signs. The elderly male with trouble breathing is getting a lot of help and putting a lot more people at risk with all the fast driving and noise.

The agencies need to address the issue with some kind of uniform policy. It's pretty nuts.

#8 Holden West

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 01:28 PM

^Usually, the regular ambulance shows up and the Advanced Life Support ambulance shows up ten seconds later.

The ironic thing is of course, once the ambulance reaches the hospital the poor bastard sits in a hallway for three hours because the hospital is drastically underfunded and understaffed.

Anyone see the problem here? :P
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#9 G-Man

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 01:29 PM

Theorhetically there is a triage system that would put those that are close to dead would be seen first.

Visit my blog at: https://www.sidewalkingvictoria.com 

 

It has a whole new look!

 


#10 Holden West

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 01:38 PM

Maybe we need to go back to the early 70s when a single private Cadillac ambulance would toss you in the back and haul your ass to the hospital!
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#11 Jada

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 02:44 PM

My dad was a paramedic in Vancouver around that time and I know he used to drive one of those Caddies around.

#12 Baro

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 03:29 PM

Ghost Busters???
"beats greezy have baked donut-dough"

#13 Mike K.

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 03:56 PM

The law requires that the closest vehicle to the scene must respond to an emergency. If a fire truck is closer to the scene it will respond first. Sometimes a fire truck responds first but arrives second or vice versa.

Usually two medics aren't enough to deal with medical situations and especially situations with seniors. With two heads per ambulance it's not unrealistic to expect several vehicles to come out (incl. a cop car or two to help out if required). Picture a cardiac situation in a hospital setting with almost a dozen people all performing some role. Now picture that same situation in someone's home -- all those people need to arrive there and arrive quickly.

Either way nobody is at risk from emergency vehicles unless they're not paying attention. If if they're not paying attention they shouldn't be driving a vehicle or crossing streets.

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#14 Phil McAvity

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 06:33 PM

I completely agree with Holden on this, emergency vehicles need to be loud, harley's don't. If people hate sirens so much, they should stay out in the country. I'm sure there are many nice spots on the Saanich peninsula that don't get a lot of sirens. I also love the bullshit about harley's being so loud so they can be heard. If that were true, Harley riders would be involved in accidents way less than other bikers, but i have never seen or heard any proof of that in all my years of motorbiking. The real reason they are so loud is more like, "look at me! I'm an egotard who just spent $30,000 on a (hopelessly unreliable) motorbike and i need everyone to notice!"
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#15 Baro

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 06:40 PM

I HATE those bikes. It just makes me think the engine sucks or its missing something. It's called muffler technology, a lack of it is not something to be proud of.

What next, constantly squeeeeeeeeeling breaks to show how macho your car is?

"I spent a downpayment on a house on a crappy bike that doesn't even have a working muffler"
"beats greezy have baked donut-dough"

#16 Holden West

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 06:42 PM

^^Phil, I'm glad we see eye to eye on this. But let me ask you a tough question, knowing you're a harcore libertarian conservative. Do you support the police enforcing bylaws against straight pipes and excess decibel exhaust noise? Or do you hate the noise but admit it's assface's god-given right to drive his Hog any damn way he pleases?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#17 ressen

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 06:56 PM

How about the sound of the back-up beeper on the garbage truck at five in the morning.

#18 Phil McAvity

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 07:16 PM

What next, constantly squeeeeeeeeeling breaks to show how macho your car is?

"I spent a downpayment on a house on a crappy bike that doesn't even have a working muffler"


Hahahaha! Good points Baro! Not only are many older Harley's incredibly loud, but they are also extremely unreliable as well, which is why many harley riders own a pickup truck, because if it weren't for their pickup truck, their harley wouldn't go anywhere.

Holden, my disdain for harley's runs so deep (especially in the summer when most of these sonic assaults occur) that it's tempting to encourage lawmakers to pass laws to get them to shut the **** up, but thankfully the company appears to already have taken measures to silence their bikes.......somewhat. I've noticed many of their newer models aren't as loud as many of their older bikes. I just hope the company keeps moving in that direction.
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#19 G-Man

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:10 PM

It isn't the company they are modified to to be noisy. I mean you could get a good loud purr out of a smart car if you wanted to.

Visit my blog at: https://www.sidewalkingvictoria.com 

 

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#20 Mike K.

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 10:06 PM

Yeah, its after-market pipes that make the noise. The majority of new bikes straight off the lot sound like something a grandpa would ride.

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