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Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

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Re: Traffic Noise Outreach Project Launched In Two Parks

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avatar Traffic Noise Outreach Project Launched In Two Parks
September 02, 2014 09:59AM
Late in July, the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division (NSNSD) installed two traffic noise display signs on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park as part of a broad effort to reduce vehicle noise impacts and raise awareness of the importance of natural sounds in national parks.

These custom-built, solar-powered signs display the sound level of passing vehicles using colored LEDs. To reach as many park visitors as possible, the signs were installed near the east and west entrance stations, and to better protect dark night skies, they were programmed to run only during daytime hours (7 a.m. - 7 p.m.).

NSNSD also produced printed materials to support the signs, including a site bulletin detailing Glacier’s efforts to protect natural sounds, a rack card describing the signs, and a motorcycle-specific rack card listing simple actions that motorcyclists can take to reduce their noise footprint.

These actions include turning off their motorcycles in parking areas and minimizing idling time, avoiding revving their engines and other unnecessary throttling, avoiding riding in large groups, and other measures. The motorcycle rack card was distributed to each rider as part of the entrance process. In addition, an iPad-based interactive display was placed in the east side visitor center to provide background on the project and invite visitors to learn more.

To provide an opportunity for visitors to ask questions, and to gauge public response to the traffic noise displays, NSNSD staffed an outreach tent at Logan Pass visitor center for several days. The comments received from park staff and visitors were overwhelmingly in support of the effort to reduce noise in the park.

Several park visitors showcased their sound level meter smartphone apps or shared stories of being either annoyed by noise or impressed by natural sounds they heard in the park during their visit. The purpose of this traffic noise outreach effort is to encourage motorcycle riders and other motorists to voluntarily adopt the principles of riding or driving respectfully.

In August, the vehicle noise outreach effort (signs, print materials, iPad) was featured at Devils Tower National Monument . Every August, the park recieves thousants of motorcycle riders participating in the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally about 80 miles to the east. During this year's event, more than 9,000 motorcyclists visited the park. NSNSD plans to return to Devils Tower to conduct a similar study in 2015. More photos of the project can be found here.
Re: Traffic Noise Outreach Project Launched In Two Parks
September 08, 2014 01:06PM
In July while in Glacier and Yellowstone the noise from the motorcycles and the behavior of the some of the riders was horrible. I do have friends that are avid motorcyclist and uphold people's rights to ride them but, it should be more understood that most people are going to the national parks for a quiet, safe and stress free visit and not for a road rally.

If I would ever get to talk to them over all the noise this is what I would say: I already think that most motorcycles are impressive pieces of machinery so it is not necessary to over throttle and rev them especially in parking lots, stopped traffic or under my lodge window when I am trying to sleep. Besides, it scares the animals that you stopped in the middle of the road to see. And please do not ride in big groups where there are several rows containing several bikes so when you slow down, for whatever reason you think you can, no one can't pass you because you have now taken up both lanes of the road. And please do not flip me off when I lightly beep my horn once so you would know I would like the group to move over so I can get by. I don't play music in my car so loud that it echos off the hills so please don't do the same. And, I know that you don't have many places to store things but please don't throw your trash out while you are driving so it hits the front of my car.

To be fair, we did meet some very nice people on motorcycles that did not do any of the things I mentioned above, we took pictures for each other and shared park experiences. BTW, they also complained about rude riders and how they make it bad for everyone else.
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