Acceptability of OHM and ATV Noise-Case Studies of Environmental Noise Produced by OHM and ATV Riding Areas 2009-01-2244
Acceptability of Off-Highway Motorcycle (OHM) and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) noise is increasingly becoming an issue. Increasing numbers of riders combined with a decrease in available riding areas, due to liability concerns and increasing rural development, has raised issues with land compatibility. Lack of clear noise regulations in typical rural Midwestern communities makes enforcement difficult or subjective.
This paper reviews two case studies of OHM and ATV riding area noise at neighboring residential property lines. One study was performed as part of the defense for nuisance tickets, for excessive noise, issued to a group of riders at a new private riding area. The other study was performed to help an established riding club obtain a conditional use permit for their land, which they had been legally riding on for decades, due to noise and dust complaints from new residential development next to their property.
An issue immediately raised with both of these studies was determining applicable noise regulations. A review of related state and federal standards along with peer community standards was used to determine an approach for evaluating acceptability of property noise levels. Compliance with these related standards was evaluated by performing property line noise measurements of select groups of riders comprising a typical vehicle mix for each respective riding club. These measurement results were also compared to measured background noise levels to develop operating controls for the maximum numbers of riders allowed to meet acceptable property line noise levels. In addition, maximum noise levels for select OHM and ATV riding events were compared to other observed noise events to help convey the relative level of noise experienced at the neighboring residences.