'The noise is absolutely horrendous': Brockville residents make noise over loud exhausts, speeding
BROCKVILLE -- Downtown Brockville residents have had it with the noise and speeding happening on some waterfront streets.
Complaints are focused around Blockhouse Island along with Water and King Streets, where speeding and noisy cars race around usually at night.
Carole Ann O'Connor lives in the downtown core, and says she doesn’t even enjoy sitting on her balcony anymore.
"The noise is absolutely horrendous," O’Connor said pointing behind at Water Street.
"It happens around Blockhouse and then the speeding starts up Market Street and racing, speeding, tire burning along King Street East and West and up Victoria Street as well."
Citizens for a Quieter Brockville have created a petition on change.org, which Brockville City Council and Brockville Police are aware of.
The petition currently has 50 signatures.
"I’ve signed it," said Brockville City Councillor Nathalie Lavergne.
As she was speaking to CTV News in front of Brockville City Hall, a car with a loud exhaust sped down King Street and interrupted.
"I just want the noise to cease. If you are watching TV, five to 10 seconds, you cannot hear anything. During the night time when its repetition, repetition, repetition, it’s kind of tiring," Lavergne said.
She put forward a motion to Council on June 30 asking the police and the police board to look at how they can help make the community safer.
On Wednesday morning she asked for a follow up on that.
"There are also citizen calls and emails saying 'I live there, I live over here,' so it’s a bit more than just downtown," Lavergne said.
"We need to be listening to the citizens and we need to be more proactive on what's the next step.”
Brockville Police say the issue is being enforced, but the problem comes down to manpower.
"We’ve had numerous complaints about the noise and noisy exhaust, specifically in the downtown core,” said Brockville Police Staff Sergeant Andrew Harvie.
"We’ve had eight overtime shifts that we’ve staffed with officers coming in to do some enforcement. Its staffing levels. That’s the biggest issue."
Harvie adds, "We always run into the risk of officer burnout when you bring people in all the time on their days off to work.”
He also noted that officers are always enforcing the Highway Traffic Act on regular duty.
O'Connor is specifically worried about the speeding and that something awful might happen.
"It makes me feel very nervous because we have a lot of visitors in our city right now and I’m just very afraid that somebody is going to get hurt," O'Connor said.
"It’s almost like an accident waiting to happen and we’ve seen unfortunately those stories on the news and we don’t want it to happen here.“
O’Connor said she’s spoken with Brockville Police regularly and the communication has been great.
"I think they are doing the best they can. In my opinion it needs to be sustained until we can say this is over at least for this season but i have to say they’ve been doing a good job with the resources they have available."
She also cited more education could be done on the issue.
"Its just too bad it always has to be law enforcement that comes into play. One would hope that people would be adult enough to realize you don’t speed in the downtown core of any town or city. You don't race and you don’t burn rubber.”
O’Connor said she is not against racing or loud cars, but there are places that they can go if they want to have fun.
"Maybe go to an open field or a space somewhere and do your thing. That’s not what I'm against. I’m against doing it in a city. "
Harvie noted that 49 Highway Traffic Act charges have been already issued as well as multiple warnings for modified cars.
"We have a warning system in Brockville that if we notice a defect we’ll give them time to fix it,” Harvie said.
"We’ll make a note that they’ve been warned, and to go get (the vehicles) fixed and they have to render those vehicles back into operation for safe handling."
Harvie also noted that some traffic stops have lead to other charges and even arrests.
"Drug charges, I think five in total and we’ve had four arrests, again, as a result of the target enforcement.
"We’ve tried education with people with either illegal exhaust or excessive noise but in the end we’ve end up charging quite a few as a result,” Harvie said.
"We are actively enforcing this and if we catch you in the act, unfortunately you’re going to get a ticket."