A nice sunday with lots of sun and people enjoying the outside calm of town, or letting some of the outside world in through opening their windows, should be a peaceful and enjoyable thing, where it not for the endemic (*) Buzz Bikers driving their purposely loudest possible roaring motorbikes (**) through the inner town – especially – to ventilate themselves and their ego’s.
My mind game is imagining the BuzzSwat in action, applied with the same mercy urbanised humans tend to have for an annoying buzz-fly: SWATTT!
The local police is invisible – seems to enjoy football matches on television in their stations – and something like an ‘Anti-Bikers-Buzz-Squat’ has never been thought of in this permissive city, once home of the bicycle-beer-café with peddling drunken tourists having a good drink and shout (***). Bikers, also, can freely van their egos around here in Amsterdam.
This message will also be send to our burgomaster who is the first mayor of this town in decades who shows some – hesitant – concern of how “his” city sounds…
We do have all the technology needed to pick these ‘guys’ (no noisy girls on bikes as far as I can see, some but only on the back seat) from the road: sound sensors, fast cameras, helicopters, name it. I am not a biker so I do not know if these bikes have one or modes of operation, within the official noise limit, and outside these limits. If the exhaust system of these bikes have been tampered with, a kind of ‘art of noise’ tuning, to produce maximum effect, the motorbikes are in an illegal state and should be taken off the road on the spot. If the noise production can be hidden at one moment and still be produced at another, a combined system of instant sound and image capture could be used, to collect the needed proof for prosecution and seizure.
I think it will be necessary to also check the motorbike trade for selling and altering such “leisure” products. Motorbikes purposely made noisy, that has no other sense than produce the joy some people must feel, to terrorise their fellow citizens, by temporarily possessing the space and time that is shared with others with the noise they make.
The BUZZ Bikers are criminals stealing the civility of public space.
(*) Endemic (as in “disease”) n. : a disease that is constantly present to a greater or lesser degree in people of a certain class or in people living in a particular location
(**) The police of the city of Amsterdam do have special actions and brigades against the disturbance of young scooter drivers, being both a danger because of wild driving and a nuisance because of the noise produced. Also scooters are so high on the wish-list of youngsters that the ones that are not fortunate enough, will steal them. I have witnessed these squads several times and noticed that especially young Moroccan guys were singled out as they seem to excel in breaching a few laws while driving these fancy scooters (though a xenophobic bias can be not excluded at the same time). I asked an officer of such a squad once why they did not also target the noise of the more affluent big motorbike drivers and the hellish noise they produce, as well as super high speed traversing through the inner town, often passing several police stations without any counter action. I was told, that this was “not a priority.”
(***) After years of complaints, beer-bike-cafés have been – almost – forbidden since after a whole series of court cases. The discussion was whether or not a bicycle-beer-bar was still a bicycle or not. A court decided that the maximum width of a bicycle or tricycle was 1,50 meter. Most of the versions going around where more than this measure limit, though inventive entrepreneurs did develop a beer-cycle-bar that stays within the law-limit.
See also my two earlier articles on
– 25/5/2009: ‘Cycling Cafes’: Cycling Cafes and Drunken Skippers in Party City Amsterdam
– 3/6/2009: Cycling Cafes down the hill in Amsterdam