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    Thread: Racetracks, noise and their local residents - Is there any solution?

    1. Member HI SPEED's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 05:31 PM #51
      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      I fully agree with you. When I'm house shopping, I try to go at different times and listen to the sounds/sights/smells that are in the area. It's a due diligence thing for me.

      BUT...

      This isn't legally required, and a new property owner has just as many rights as an existing property owner. Very few things can get "grandfathered" into into compliance these days. It's a complicated situation.
      About ten years ago I was under contract to buy a investment property in Maui. It was in an awesome location 1/2 block from the beach, nicely renovated with a lot big enough to build another house in the back.

      Another benefit was that is was caddy corner to a bunch of restaurant/bars that would be appealing to my tenants, or so we thought.

      We toured the place twice in the day time, but 2 weeks out from closing I flew my GF out there one last time to go at night.

      It turned out that this particular area turned into a absolute **** show at night, with hundreds of bikers, fights, screaming, and people partying in the lot until all hours on the weekends.

      I couldn't have blamed anyone but myself for not doing my due diligence. If I would have found out the hard way, then I couldn't have blamed anyone but myself. Luckily the seller never disclosed the crazy noise, so I had a clear path to back out, and get my earnest money back.

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      09-15-2020 06:37 PM #52
      Quote Originally Posted by alvint_vw View Post
      As a long time track day driver and someone who deals with vehicle sound quality on a daily basis, I have some insight on this topic..

      I don't believe you can create a spec muffler that passes some uniform dB test for track driving. In the USA there's the SAE J1169 Standard @95dB(A) but that's a stationary vehicle test. Europe has a drive-by test but the speeds and rpm are too low for use in creating a track standard.

      Sound limit testing is difficult to replicate outside of a track venue. There are many variables that can affect the sound test in equipment, microphone distance, track gradient, weather conditions, etc. In other words you'll get different SPL(Sound Pressure Levels) readings at WTLS than Sears Point or SMMSP due to the differences of these variables and the proximity of equipment testing to the vehicles.

      I often get asked for a "Laguna Seca" muffler for a specific vehicle and reply with questions about how and when their vehicle was black-flagged for sound violation. I know some bone-stock vehicles won't pass 93dB(A) open track days at WTLS and have friends who were disappointed to find this out at the track.
      FYI: A simple modification upgrading to a CAI can increase SPL at WOT where the vehicle can exceed posted SPL limits resulting in a black-flag violation. Also pipe diameter can change the frequency of the exhaust note to higher frequencies where dB(A) weighted levels can result in a black-flag violation.

      For reference on sound testing at MRLS, I created this video back in 2012 when we were developing our Spec Miata race exhaust. There was no SPL target goal for a specific track but I was familiar with MRLS sound testing. I was hoping to pass @93dB(A) sound limits and thrilled that we passed the lower 90dB(A) sound limits..
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAMsNAHklbc&t=14s
      Oh for sure, those are definitely issues with standardization and compliance. Some sort of more specific [and more restrictive] version of the SAE J1169 would be what I'm getting at here. All kinds of variables (and loopholes) with the SPL meters which make lots of different ways to argue against things...exhausts that point away, people that lift at corners, days that are more or less humid, etc. Right now each track comes up with it's own solution and that leaves the NIMBY crowd avenues to attack it.

      Let's say we come up with "ISO 1031-1216: Racing Exhaust SPL Generation" similar to that SAE standard, that involves a repeatable, rigorous, and scientific test. If exhaust makers can get a certificate for their parts and stamp "ISO 1031-1216 Compliant" on them, on sound limited days tech inspection can just check for that. Race tracks can advertise that they only allow racing with ISO 1031:1216 Complaint parts, and they can use that as a defense full of scientific backing when they're attacked.

      Don't get me wrong, what I'm talking about is a tall order. It would be expensive, and it would take many years to roll it out. But I do think it's a potential solution which gives a lot more ground to stand on vs. waving a black flag when the SPL meter gets tripped.


      Quote Originally Posted by alvint_vw View Post
      Sound limit testing is difficult to replicate outside of a track venue.
      I understand what you're getting at (the same exhaust can be and/or appear much louder one day to the next), but I'd actually suggest that it's difficult to replicate at a track venue. Background noise, humidity, wind direction, operator, etc. I'm sure you know, dB aren't an absolute unit like volts or mph which can be more easily measured/standardized, they're a relative unit which references some background level. So IMO a car being "too loud today" is a bit like an HoA saying a house is "too yellow today." Many would argue that because something looks more yellow in the sunset, or something adjacent was painted yellow and is reflecting, but ultimately the paint isn't changing, so it should be either OK or not OK. Of course, this is a convenient angle for me to pick, because I actually don't care if the track bothers the neighbors, I care that we can keep it open.
      Last edited by ghost03; 09-15-2020 at 06:50 PM.

    4. Member randyvr6's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 07:04 PM #53
      Quote Originally Posted by Canaletto View Post
      I wonder if race tracks with "car condos" are the answer? M1 Concourse in Michigan has dozens (maybe over a hundred?) of them, and some of them are worth $1M+. That must generate some juicy tax revenue for the local municipality.
      M1 Concourse was built on the site of an abandoned GM Plant in an industrial area in a city desperate for any kind of development. Not going to have to deal with many complaints there.

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      09-15-2020 07:08 PM #54
      Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
      Moved to Flemington, NJ in 1986. Town had a little dirt track. Neat hearing the track at night on weekends.

      Paved in 1990. Shut down in 2002. Now a Lowe's.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flemington_Speedway

      https://www.flemingtonspeedwayhistoricalsociety.com/

      http://www.speedwayandroadracehistor...-speedway.html

      Lots more and videos online.
      I loved the uniqueness of Flemington. I had it on my NASCAR 99 game.

      Our local track is connected to the County Fairgrounds. For decades there have been NIMBYs trying to shut the track down. Along with the airport across the street. Both properties have existed since before the 60s, well before any of these homeowners existed in their location.

      Yes, progress has a price, but these people who complain about the noise are f**king morons. What's absurd is the early complaints were from the development on the hill above the track. You have to drive by both the fairgrounds and the airport to get to that development. Did they not see the properties when they went to look at their new home? There's also a hospital with an ER that takes ambulances 24/7, being on one of the most deadly highways in the state, across the highway from the racetrack.

      Our city has had this fight for more than 30 years. The current racetrack promoter has done amazing things to expand racing there - stock cars, drift cars, motorcross, go-kart, touring series, etc. My b-i-l's parents own the airport. It's a local regional strip that sees the majority of its traffic on the weekend. And by majority of traffic, I think, 10-15 planes.

      Maybe if the developments didn't strip all the land of sound-deadening trees and shrubbery you wouldn't hear how loud the racetrack is. I live about 2.75mi as the crow flies from the track. I can hear the racecars, even though they're supposed to have a 75dba rule (which has existed for 30 years or so).

      I don't care. It's not offensive to me, nor are the fireworks that happen occasionally. Or the sirens of police as they fly down the nearby highway. The train horns, however, are a bit much.
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    6. Member chois's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 10:16 PM #55
      So to my original point - race cars don't HAVE to be loud.

      We already have sound regulations, and at every event I run there is a sound meter taking readings. Yes weather conditions, gear selection, pipe diameter (and length) can all affect the sound level. However we still get a black flag and can have our qualifying times removed if we consistently go over sound.

      Just set the limits lower, and let the engineers engineer solutions to it. (and let the hacks hack it)

      I'd bet that the people complaining find another way/reason to complain though....
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      09-16-2020 01:02 AM #56
      Quote Originally Posted by chois View Post
      I'd bet that the people complaining find another way/reason to complain though....
      Oh sure. Tire noise, fumes, traffic, views, etc.

    8. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      09-16-2020 08:14 AM #57
      Quote Originally Posted by randyvr6 View Post
      M1 Concourse was built on the site of an abandoned GM Plant in an industrial area in a city desperate for any kind of development. Not going to have to deal with many complaints there.
      And Pontiac pretty much told everyone nearby to STFU and deal due to the tax revenue being generated.

      Too bad the track is basically useless as a real track. It is nice for people to go play with their expensive cars and the garage condos are just gorgeous. AFAIK, you can't actually live there, though.

      It really sucks about Waterford Hills, though. Apparently everything was fine for years until one cranky old bat city clerk retired and was staying home all day. She went on a ridiculous tear and all of a sudden the old 75dB limit had to be enforced again. The whole damn town is waiting for her to no longer be home all day again.

      I think the likelihood of the track going away is low, though. Pretty much everyone uses it. It's tight and flowing at the same time. Really a brilliant layout. I love it 100x more in the BRZ than I did in the wagon.
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      09-16-2020 08:36 AM #58
      Quote Originally Posted by chois View Post
      So to my original point - race cars don't HAVE to be loud.
      Older ones kinda do, so vintage cars tend to not be able to be easily muffled without horrible, ungainly attachments like posted earlier in the thread. Again, the problem is NOT the cars, but the idiots who can't be convinced that they are idiots.

      As for developing cars that are quieter, it'd be cheaper just to pay the idiots to move somewhere else...
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      09-16-2020 08:41 AM #59
      Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
      Moved to Flemington, NJ in 1986. Town had a little dirt track. Neat hearing the track at night on weekends.

      Paved in 1990. Shut down in 2002. Now a Lowe's.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flemington_Speedway

      https://www.flemingtonspeedwayhistoricalsociety.com/

      http://www.speedwayandroadracehistor...-speedway.html

      Lots more and videos online.
      I had fond memories of Flemington. My family would go there for demolition derbys.

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      09-16-2020 08:45 AM #60
      Quote Originally Posted by GreenandChrome View Post
      ... Along with the airport across the street ...
      I moved to Marlborough, MA in 2003. There was a little airport with a single 1,650 foot runway that is bordered by Farm Road on one end and trees on the other.

      You look up the runway at the trees when you are on the road as shown in the picture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlboro_Airport.

      http://www.airfields-freeman.com/MA/...C.htm#marlboro

      A friend that flies saw the airport when we drive by and was incredulous: "people take off from there?"

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      09-16-2020 09:17 AM #61
      Quote Originally Posted by HI SPEED View Post
      Luckily the seller never disclosed the crazy noise, so I had a clear path to back out, and get my earnest money back.
      Or you could look at it this way. If the seller was up front about the problems you never would have looked at the property in the first place.

      I sold a property that had a problem neighbor. I was honest in the listing about what was going on and it was never an issue. People knew what to expect.

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      09-16-2020 10:24 AM #62
      Quote Originally Posted by absoluteczech View Post
      how many races are going on after 10pm at night anyways?
      To add to this, and I can't speak for all tracks, but most tracks that have a sound limit are done before 5-6 PM and start after 10 PM. Like I get it if tracks had cars going 24/7, but they already have very strict time limits to where they could operate. Meanwhile, the local boomer goes WOT in his Harley at 2am and that's completely normal... Society man.

      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      And Pontiac pretty much told everyone nearby to STFU and deal due to the tax revenue being generated.

      Too bad the track is basically useless as a real track. It is nice for people to go play with their expensive cars and the garage condos are just gorgeous. AFAIK, you can't actually live there, though.
      x2 M1 sucks as a track. I literally have never seen a track with less runoff. Basically, if you spin or even put 2 wheels off at M1, you are likely in a wall. It's a terribly designed track from a safety point of view, and a really boring track from an enthusiasts point of view.
      Last edited by Goingnowherefast; 09-16-2020 at 10:27 AM.
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      09-16-2020 10:30 AM #63
      Quote Originally Posted by Goingnowherefast View Post

      x2 M1 sucks as a track. I literally have never seen a track with less runoff. Basically, if you spin or even put 2 wheels off at M1, you are likely in a wall. It's a terribly designed track from a safety point of view, and a really boring track from an enthusiasts point of view.
      You've never been to the Nurburgring

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      09-16-2020 11:11 AM #64
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      Older ones kinda do, so vintage cars tend to not be able to be easily muffled without horrible, ungainly attachments like posted earlier in the thread. Again, the problem is NOT the cars, but the idiots who can't be convinced that they are idiots.

      As for developing cars that are quieter, it'd be cheaper just to pay the idiots to move somewhere else...
      I heard a rumor that someone developed a muffler for stock cars that have virtually zero HP loss, but drop the dba level to the low 90s. An acoustical engineer designed it. But apparently the office burned down and he lost the design and/or he died in the fire (it was a long time ago when I heard this).

      I call BS on this because even if you lost the designs in a fire, they're in your head and you can re-create it.

      Quote Originally Posted by Goingnowherefast View Post
      x2 M1 sucks as a track. I literally have never seen a track with less runoff. Basically, if you spin or even put 2 wheels off at M1, you are likely in a wall. It's a terribly designed track from a safety point of view, and a really boring track from an enthusiasts point of view.
      well, don't go off the track.
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      09-16-2020 11:17 AM #65
      Quote Originally Posted by Nealric View Post
      You've never been to the Nurburgring
      I have, and the Ring has way bigger runoffs. Everywhere. The Ring is comparable to Grattan.

      At M1, there are sections of track with less than 10' of runoff before the Armco. It's not good.
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      09-16-2020 11:17 AM #66
      I would gladly trade living near a racetrack vs the current situation of being ~1 mile from the flight path off the end of the runway. Not just any runway mind you but apparently the main runway for DHL's air freight hub. Nothing like fully loaded cargo planes buzzing your house at 2am. So definitely a +1 for paying attention to where your property is located before buying. Could be worse though, Amazon is building a huge hub there now too and apparently all of the blasting was damaging a lot of the houses on the other side of town. That story sort of went away though so I'm sure folks got some hush money and all is well.

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      09-16-2020 11:33 AM #67
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      I have, and the Ring has way bigger runoffs. Everywhere. The Ring is comparable to Grattan.

      At M1, there are sections of track with less than 10' of runoff before the Armco. It's not good.
      The ring has a lot less than 10' in places.


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      09-16-2020 11:38 AM #68
      Quote Originally Posted by Nealric View Post
      The ring has a lot less than 10' in places.

      Have you physically been there? It's way better than the pics look. I've been on both tracks under my own power. The Ring has more room.
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      09-16-2020 11:40 AM #69
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      Have you physically been there? It's way better than the pics look. I've been on both tracks under my own power. The Ring has more room.
      Yes. I guess I haven't been to M1, but I remember the runoffs being pretty disconcerting on the ring. I actually witnessed a pretty bad crash that might have been just a benign off with better runoff.

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      09-16-2020 11:53 AM #70
      Quote Originally Posted by Nealric View Post
      Yes. I guess I haven't been to M1, but I remember the runoffs being pretty disconcerting on the ring. I actually witnessed a pretty bad crash that might have been just a benign off with better runoff.
      Again, the Ring compares to Grattan Raceway in Belding, MI. And once you have some time in at Grattan, the Ring is just Big Momma Grattan.

      M1 is not a racetrack in our traditional sense of the word. It's an exercise your exotic car on the weekends location.
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      09-16-2020 12:09 PM #71
      If the race track was there before the homes were built, then the homeowners should deal with it. Shutting down a track because of willful ignorance on behalf of the homeowners is ridiculous.
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      09-16-2020 12:30 PM #72
      I don't understand allowing new home residences to control grandfathered in businesses.
      But I guess that's democracy in action when you don't have the appropriate laws in place to keep the majority for bullying even when in the wrong.
      And regarding churches.. many may ring their bells at will at up to 70 decibel.
      Seems a bit... hypocritical.

      Some creative things need to be done.

      To the southwest of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, just past the edge of the runway, there’s a series of hedges and ditches laid out like interlocking diamonds. The 80-acre green space is the Buitenschot Land Art Park. Its trenches and ridges hold bike paths and sports fields, but these recreational features are a bonus. Its main purpose is to deflect ground noise, the low-frequency drone that planes make when they take off and land.

      It really is a problem as development moves further and further out from city centers.
      Most racing circuits were built with cost of land and easy amenities/road access in mind, the EXACT same things that draw new home construction.
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      09-16-2020 12:34 PM #73
      Quote Originally Posted by Cabin Pics View Post
      If the race track was there before the homes were built, then the homeowners should deal with it. Shutting down a track because of willful ignorance on behalf of the homeowners is ridiculous.
      I'm really not sure how these conversations go down.

      Karen : **** this noisy racetrack, I don't like it, shut it down!

      Literally everyone else : ...did you not know it was here when you moved here?

      Karen : I expect the world to mould to my every complaint.

      The municipality : If we get the owner to sell the land to a developper, we can get more tax dollars. Go get Karen a bulldozer.

      Literally everyone else : …so I guess that's it? No more racetrack because Karen & money?

      Karen : *raises central finger as she hops onto bulldozer from her RVR*
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      09-16-2020 12:56 PM #74
      Quote Originally Posted by worth_fixing View Post
      I'm really not sure how these conversations go down.

      Karen : **** this noisy racetrack, I don't like it, shut it down!

      Literally everyone else : ...did you not know it was here when you moved here?

      Karen : I expect the world to mould to my every complaint.

      The municipality : If we get the owner to sell the land to a developper, we can get more tax dollars. Go get Karen a bulldozer.

      Literally everyone else : …so I guess that's it? No more racetrack because Karen & money?

      Karen : *raises central finger as she hops onto bulldozer from her RVR*
      5 years later, when all the new houses get built on the race track land:

      Karen: F**k this traffic, this city has done f**k-all to add lanes and sidewalks and ample thru-roads. I can't walk down these streets without getting buzzed by some idiot in a truck doing 40mph!

      City: What do you want?

      Karen: Lower the speed to 25, everywhere!

      City: Ok

      Later...
      Karen: F**k, pizza guy, why did it take you so long to bring me my food?

      Pizza: Traffic is horrendous and it's only 25mph.

      Karen's soon-to-be Ex: I miss the race track.
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      2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid, 1967 Datsun 1600
      09-16-2020 01:18 PM #75
      Don't forget about people complaining about street racing at night on roads near where a drag strip used to exist.

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