Honk If You Hate Noise Pollution

I am not sure who you are to complain to about these things, but I thought I would start here.

I attend Texas Tech University, and I really enjoy having the opportunity to walk to class among the manicured landscape, relaxing fountains, attractive architecture and (fairly) diverse population, especially now that it is springtime. The campus seems to be coming alive, and it is nice to relax outside before and after my classes. Unfortunately, it is not always relaxing.

There is a really cool guy who attends Tech that must have gotten a new motorcycle for Christmas or Valentine’s or Mother’s Day, or something, because he rides it around as if it is his newest toy. Now, I am not trying to pick on the guy, but I am no longer able to contain myself. His bike is not exactly the most subdued vehicle on the road. In fact, it is probably the loudest thing you can legally(?) own on two wheels. The problem is that he feels it necessary to share his horribly loud bike with the rest of campus every day.

You may know who I am talking about, and if not, just walk around campus during the noon hour. You will hear him roaring through the campus, I promise. If you don’t believe me, just test it out next time you are on campus. He drives around Memorial Circle, by the UC, and parks in the lot just north of Holden Hall. How do I know this? Do I follow him around? No. I just walk to class and listen to the dull roar echoing through campus. I hope it annoys you as much as it does me.

I live off campus, and I have to walk from a parking lot on the far side of University St. to my classes around Memorial Circle. As it happens, I walk right by this guy just about every day. He lives in University Plaza, the closest non-dorm housing to Tech. But, does he walk to class, considering he lives right across the street? Does he take advantage of the fact that he is so close to campus that he could probably wake up and make it to class in five minutes? No. He walks to the parking garage and gets on his bike. If he has a nice (and it is nice, I’ll give him that), new bike then that is just great. Good for him. I say, go get ’em, Tiger.

I think it is no coincidence that he picks the busiest time of the day to prance around campus. Is this some kind of stand against consideration of others? If he has something to say, could he maybe find a more intelligent way of saying it? This is college; at least, I think it is. Has anyone clued him into the fact that this is a place of higher education, and, unlike high school, not everyone finds loud motorcycles impressive?

Maybe, you might think, he is just fortunate enough to have such a groovy ride, and I should just leave him alone. Well, I am a full believer in the Libertarian idea of non-interference, but he is “interfering” with me and everyone else that he annoys. Today, for example, he drove by while I was in mid-sentence, and the sound of his bike drowned out my voice. I mean, is that absolutely necessary? This episode is, in and of itself, very insignificant, but it happens just about every day. Over the course of this semester, I guess it really has started to get on my nerves, and rather than do something stupid like put sugar in his gas tank or flatten his tires, I thought I would write a letter. I know I am not the only person on campus bothered by this.

Still, can you blame a guy for wanting to take his bike to class? Not really. I bet that if I had such a nice bike, I would be tempted to do the same. Tempted. But, there are places for things like that, and he should be smart enough to know that this is not one of them.

I am hesitant to suggest some kind of noise ban as those kinds of things tend to be misconstrued by bureaucracy. I can just envision someone instituting this kind of ban, and anyone with a noisy tailpipe gets a ticket, or worse. However, I do think that something should be done about the chronic, disruptive noise produced by this juvenile display. I would talk to him, but I don’t think he’d get the message. Maybe if I yelled it at him on his way to class.


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