A little `varooming’ OK on July 4, city agrees | AspenTimes.com

A little `varooming’ OK on July 4, city agrees

John Colson

Noisy motorcycles will have a six-hour “grace period” to roar around town on the Fourth of July.

But beyond that, the local cops are going to be enforcing Aspen’s noise ordinances in response to complaints from local citizens.

The City Council on Tuesday informally endorsed police plans to start issuing warnings to riders of bikes deemed to be in violation of local laws, and particularly to riders who seem to be trying to be as noisy as possible. Repeat offenses will draw a ticket, which could mean fines and even jail time for offenders.

The noise level of motorcycles becomes a local issue every year around this time, as local citizens prepare for the Fourth of July onslaught of motorcycles in the holiday parade.

Hundreds of Harley-Davidson riders have been showing up for the big parade in recent years, and the roar of their engines has irritated some local residents and visitors.

Fred Smith, who lives on South Monarch Street, told the council that an untold number of riders show up at the St. Regis every year, with their motorcycles towed into town in special trailers and then disgorged next to the hotel.

“These are Rolex Riders,” he complained. “They stay at the St. Regis, and they have to warm up [their engines] on the hill” next to the hotel and his house.

Council members sympathized with Smith’s plight, and suggested the Aspen Police Department pay some extra attention to it this year.

But in general, the council concurred with the idea of the six-hour grace period, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 4, and with the plan for stepped-up enforcement of the noise laws otherwise.

“I think what we’re trying to do is be reasonable about this,” said Mayor Rachel Richards.

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