Noisy dirt bikes are driving some Houston residents up the wall.
Linda Poznikoff, chief administrative officer for the District of Houston, says staff have received complaints about dirt bikes zooming around Houston Secondary School and what used to be a motocross track near Dungate Drive.
“We have a bylaw saying that motorbikes aren’t allowed in the municipality,” she said. “But it’s hard to enforce.”
Poznikoff said that in the past, off-roading clubs asked the District to look at building a dirt bike area in town, but they found there is no suitable municipal land available.
Lee Nustad, who lives at the corner of Dungate Drive and Omineca Way, says dirt bike noise has been an ongoing problem ever since people tore down the No Dirt Biking sign by the gravel pit that is just 100 metres from his front door.
“It’s fun, and I’m not trying to take it away from anybody,” said Nustad, who rides an ATV himself.
“But I kid you not, if my wife and I are sitting on our patio we cannot talk to each other if the real loud bikes are in the pit.”
Nustad said dirt bike users ride the gravel pit from early spring until fall.
Between everyone coming and going, he said the noise can go on for 12 hours.
In the 1990s, dirt bike and snowmobile riders eroded enough ground on the Pacific Natural Gas right of way that they caused a high-pressure leak.
Today, Nustad is concerned the same thing could happen to a water line that supplies his house and nine others.
While the RCMP has given warnings to people who ride unlicensed dirt bikes on roads, Nustad says they don’t seem to have much effect.
Vic Siemens, who also lives along Omineca Way, says the dirt bikes are also a safety issue.
“I can see the stop sign from here, and they’ll go right through it,” he said.
“And they’re doubling without helmets—it’s not the safest thing in the world.”
Siemens said the riders are anywhere between 15 to 40 years old, but the worst offenders are generally adults.
Like Nustad, he said he doesn’t mind people riding past his house to go ride the Equity Mine Road, or on the trail he built through his field behind the Ambassador trailer court.
But the non-stop buzzing right by his house is getting to be too much.
“I’m fencing it off now. It’s getting that bad,” he said. “That and the snowmobiles in the winter. People ski by your door and you could hook them with a hockey stick.”
Speaking from her home near Four Seasons Park, Anita Weselowski says most dirt bike riders stay out of the park and head on to the gravel pit between her house and Mountain View cemetery.
“There’s no homes by there, and I don’t have a problem with the kids going up there to have some fun,” she said.
“I’d rather see that than having them sitting in the house,” she added, laughing.
Like the residents on Omineca Way, Weselowski says it’s okay if riders are going from point A to point B.
“I don’t mind that so much, but when they go flying by on the road and aren’t wearing helmets, that’s a problem,” she said.