Letter: Saugerties must do something about loud trucks, motorcycles

We moved here six years ago and love Saugerties. We patronize the businesses here regularly and want the town to continue to prosper and grow economically. Despite increased awareness of Saugerties in the last few years many businesses are still only open 3-4 days a week (pre- Covid). Tourism is so important to the area yet it seems spotty— sometimes the town is humming with activity and other times it’s quiet and calm.

Unfortunately one constant is the endless stream of loud motorcycles, cars and pick-up trucks that repeatedly loop through the main intersection every Friday and Saturday night, gunning it repeatedly to hear their unmuffled exhausts boom deafeningly off of the buildings.

It’s often the same parade of a half dozen vehicles circling through the town, revving and lurching in short bursts of speed.


Simply put- it’s obnoxious. They know it; the business owners know it, the police know it and it’s deafening, disruptive and frankly, illegal.

Pre-Covid, many businesses had small tables set up on the sidewalk; Stellas’s in particular has always had outdoor seating. Now Love Bites, Rock Da Kasbah, The Pig, Slices and many more do too.

The endless parade of bikes and trucks with unmuffled exhausts has to be put in check. It’s only happening in Saugerties by the way, never in Woodstock, Kingston nor Hudson- never. We’re there all the time.

Why? Because clearly the other towns have sent the message it’s not going to be tolerated. I don’t know what these towns have done specifically to discourage and enforce excessive noise but it’s plainly evident that they’ve done something and it worked.

Why hasn’t Saugerties done anything? Why haven’t either the police or the town government enacted some sort of “Low Noise” area on the two main streets in town?

Simple enough and virtually no cost.

Paint some lines in the street; post several signs indicating it’s a low noise residential and pedestrian-oriented area and that fines are applicable and will be enforced for violations.

Have the police in the area on weekend nights (I rarely if ever see any presence whatsoever downtown weekend nights) to discourage and issue warnings for the first 60 days; then start ticketing. I’d be willing to bet the vehicles of the people being ticketed wouldn’t pass state inspection if forced to get a re-inspection.

There are ordinan ces in Saugerties that mandate the hours that construction, heavy equipment and landscaping can occur in the village. Why aren’t any constraints being placed on when unmuffled motorcycles, cars and trucks can blast through the main area of downtown — repeatedly —which in addition to businesses has hundreds of apartments on the second stories of almost every business?

Do we need to get a petition together and start lobbying the local government and or the police?

Andrew Cowan

There are 16 comments

  1. Scott L Tienken

    You say that you moved to saugerties 6 years ago. That means you are a newcomer. If you don’t like the local practices by the people that are here originally and what they do when they’re free time on the weekends for fun and enjoyment then you should have thought about that before you decided to purchase property and stay here and then start complaining about the way people enjoy themselves. Go back to the city where you belong and stop telling people that are from around here what to do. Did you ever think that maybe they don’t like you coming in moving here? Driving up real estate values so that the regular people who have been here for generations can’t afford the taxes anymore?

    1. Bill H

      If I’m not mistaken you have not lived in Saugerties for about 20 years. I hope you have followed your own advice and kept your mouth shut about issues in the other towns you have lived in. I always find these claims of “original” rights quite specious. You, like anyone else, have not lived anywhere for “generations.” You are living only one lifetime and only deserve what you have earned in that time (and if you are lucky your ancestors gave you a hand-out). You have no more rights in a given place than someone who planted roots here this year.

      Also, not everyone that moves to Saugerties has come from the city. That is a convenient narrative for those who hate city folks (but looooove the business they bring). The influx of new residents into our town is exactly why Saugerties village has gone from a nearly vacant dump to a vibrant town in the past 25 years. Let’s not long for the old days.

  2. David Radovanovic

    I agree about the trucks using air brakes and loud motorcyles. They make living in the Village a bit unnerving and at times unbearable. I’m sure that if police officers lived in the Village busibness district they would agree.

  3. Firannion

    I feel for the letter-writer, as my nerves are also shot from motorcyclists with crappy mufflers deliberately gunning their engines in my neighborhood at all hours; but he’s way wrong about this not happening in other communities such as Kingston. I invite him to hang out for half an hour in the Rondout District. It’s stressful as hell. The perpetrators drive way faster than is safe for a residential neighborhood as well.

  4. Jim

    Why do people think they can move to a new town and demand it conform to their wants. My guess is you will never be satisfied anywhere on this planet so why not try another one, I’m sure Elon will help you get there.

  5. Bill H

    As the owner of a loud motorcycle, I have to say that it is great hearing my pipes echo off the buildings as I pass through the village. I am not one of those that repeatedly cruises through looking for attention, nor do I throttle it to make excess noise. However, I am a bit of a gear head and love seeing all the ways in which people turn their machines into noise makers. We have many hot rodders in town, which I think is great. The noise from bikes, cars and trucks is not dangerous, and whether or not it reduces or enhances quality of life is subjective.

    1. Firannion

      “whether or not it reduces or enhances quality of life is subjective.”

      Translation: “The fact that I get enjoyment out of this practice is the only thing that matters. If loud noises trigger terrifying flashbacks in vets with PTSD, or panic attacks in people who are on the autism spectrum or have anxiety disorders, or unnecessary stress in a lot of people in general, or distract people who are trying to work or wake up napping babies or adults who work unusual shifts, that’s just too freakin’ bad. They can ‘subjective’ themselves out of it. As long as I’m having fun, I’m not going to give any consideration whatsoever to modifying my behavior to be a better neighbor, because I am the center of the universe.”

  6. Kevin Lauster

    The cops already do bust on loud vehicles so you really need to know what your dealing with. As a Harley owner they can only do so much within the actual decibel laws before it’s considered harassment. Places like Stella’s support the motorcycle crowd so you need to get to used to it we’re not going away.

  7. Old Sawyer

    You have to be able to trace your Saugerties lineage on both sides back to the 18th century settlers to be able to complain about the noise levels here

    1. Bill H

      That’s funny. And true about the mentality of so many in this town (some of whom are bluffing about their family’s longevity): anyone whose family does not go back as far as mine is from “the city” and should go back there if she/he wishes anything to change in this town.

      Scott Teinken, bless his soul, seems to think that his family was here “originally.” I guess he was sleeping through his history lessons. Either that or he is at least partly indigenous. Either way the notion that his ancestors, whom he had nothing to do with creating or shaping, give him greater right to complain than a citizen who has lived here six years is grossly un-American.

      I have been living in Saugerties for eleven years, so I guess I still have no right to share my opinion. I’ll have to wait a number of generations.

  8. Your friendly Captain...

    I can not wait for the day, that the combustible engine, is just a reference in a history book.

      1. Your friendly Captain...

        Probably right, as I am in my twilight, however, it is kind of a, ”never say never”, type thing, for; ”The times, they are a changing.”

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