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Resident says ice cream truck too noisy

Simon Whitehouse
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The musical jingle of ice cream trucks is not sweet music to the ears of one Yellowknife resident.

NNSL photo/graphic

Tamer Akbulut said he stopped driving his ice cream truck through Calder Crescent about a month ago after receiving a complaint from a resident living there. - NNSL file photo

Richard Rozestraten, a retired resident living on Calder Crescent says noise from numerous sources, but especially "mobile vendors" blaring melodies through external speakers are among the sounds that most annoy him. Rozestraten went to city council Monday night to complain.

"I just retired last year and I want to enjoy my home and enjoy Yellowknife," he said.

He said the songs of ice cream trucks are among the "auditory assaults" he experiences on his street, but he also complained about the revving of engines and barking dogs in the area.

He called on council to adopt perhaps some form of "mechanical noise" bylaw or at least an update or review of the existing noise bylaw. Currently, residents have no choice when it comes to having to accept disturbing ice cream chimes before 11 p.m., which Rozestraten said is wrong.

"That is the critical thing about mobile vendors and nuisance noise from mobile vendors," he said, saying it can last for 30 to 40 minutes at a time.

"Most residents really don't need to hear that noise."

Tamer Akbulut, who has operated an ice cream truck for the last five years, said he was approached by a Calder Crescent resident about a month ago about the music emanating from his vehicle when he drives by.

He said he is sorry he had disturbed the neighbour and sympathizes with the man's situation. As a result said he doesn't drive on Calder Crescent and has stopped serving after 7 p.m.

"I had one gentleman complain and I never worked after 7 p.m. again," said Akbulut.

"The man said the sound bothers him and I understand, because sometimes the noise bothers me too," he said.

As far as marketing, the music that comes from the truck is the best way to attract children wanting ice cream, he said.

He added if the city did pose a ban on outdoor musical enticements, he would have no problem with it but noted it is the job he most likes to do in the summer.

"That is the only way it works," he said. "If I don't have that sound, there is no way of letting kids know that I am there and really I can't make any business."

Mayor Gord Van Tighem said the noise bylaw bans excessive noise between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., so if Akbulut stopped running a truck at 7 p.m. that would be voluntary.

"Mr. Rozestraten's complaints does go beyond the ice cream truck as he asked for a review of the noise bylaw, which hasn't changed for many years because it has been working" he said.

"We don't get a lot of noise complaints and the ones we do get are usually the bars when they are open and operating."

City councillor Cory Vanthuyne said he wanted more clarification before he would consider any need for change. He asked for more specifics during Rozestraten's presentation and concluded the man may need to communicate more with the mayor and the city's senior administrative officer to see any future action is needed by council.

"This is summertime in Yellowknife and some people might find those noises offensive and others might find them a nice spring or summer sound to hear," he said.

"Often it is exciting to hear the ice cream man."

The city may be able to assist some of Rozestraten's complaints as it is undergoing a dog bylaw review this summer, said Vanthuyne. He added noise comes from all kinds of different sources in a growing city such as Yellowknife.

Another neighbour on Calder Crescent, who asked not to be named, said any real noise issues on the street are most likely related to excessive partying by teenagers, which typically only happens during the summer.

As far as mobile vendors such as the ice cream truck go, it hasn't been present on the street for at least two weeks and doesn't make lasting noises, since it passes right by anyway.

"Any problems are during the summer; it is pretty quiet in the winter," said the resident. "In the summer it gets quite noisy."

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