Published on April 11th, 2014 |6
Neighbors protest Thursday night motorcycle noise at Fellini’s in Buckhead
On a typical Thursday night during good weather, the scene in front of Fellini’s restaurant on Peachtree Road in Buckhead can be frightening and dangerous for pedestrians and nerve wracking for surrounding residents because of the noise created by 100 motorcycles.
Between 9 p.m. and midnight on any of those Thursday nights, groups of motorcyclists—ranging from 20 in the early period to 50-plus after 10 p.m.–begin arriving at Fellini’s for their pizzas and beers, etc., before revving their loud engines when leaving and doing wheelies while speeding up and down Peachtree.
This is not new. Residents living around Fellini’s have complained to police and city officials for years about the noise problems associated with the motorcyclists, illegal parking on the public sidewalk—forcing pedestrians to walk out into the traffic lanes to pass by—and traffic violations.
Despite nice, warm weather, April 10 was a bit quieter than the usual Thursday night along the 2700-2800 blocks of Peachtree Road. The reason: possibly fewer motorcyclists, who ended the night earlier than normal—an hour earlier at 11:30 p.m.
Perhaps one reason was a group of about 30 residents of the Gallery condominiums, next door to Fellini’s across Rumson
Road, who showed up to occupy as many seats at Fellini’s as possible to discourage motorcyclists from getting too comfortable.
One thing for sure: it wasn’t because Atlanta Police Department Zone 2 officers were there to ensure the cycles were parked legally, that they didn’t break any traffic laws or exceed the legal noise limits for that late at night.
A half-dozen phone calls were made to the APD from Gallery residents about the situation at Fellini’s and those calling were told cars were on the way. The cars (2 of them) showed up 45 minutes later and stayed maybe 3 minutes before driving off. One of the two cars didn’t even pull up in front of Fellini’s but stayed on the other side of Peachtree Road.
A group of the Gallery residents were told by one of the motorcyclists that police officers had told them it was legal for
them to park as many cycles as they can fit within the boundaries of one of the lateral metered parking spaces in front of the shopping center. And, they only have to pay one parking charge—the same as for one auto that can fit in the marked parking space.
By 10 p.m., most of the Gallery residents were leaving Fellini’s for the night, but several of the spokespersons said they will return every week on Thursday nights to drive home the message they are fed up with all the noise created by the motorcycles, normally lasting until midnight.
Both the current and past president of the Gallery Homeowners Association said they are working on getting more participation not only from Gallery residents, but also from other condo buildings affected by the situation—2828 Peachtree, Phoenix, Alhambra and the Carlyle.
The organizers said they hope to garner the support of 100-200 residents from the area so that they can occupy most of the seats and tables at Fellini’s from 9 p.m. to midnight in coming Thursday nights.
The Gallery opened in December of 2007, but residents of the older 2828 Peachtree, Phoenix, Alhambra and Carlyle
condo buildings say they have been fighting this problem for more than 10 years and have received little help from the city.
Gallery residents have seen some of the motorcyclists at Fellini’s wearing guns in hip holsters. They said when they asked the cyclists why they were wearing a gun, they were told “Because I can.”
The organizers of Thursday night’s sit-in at Fellini’s said they don’t want to harm the restaurant or its employees at all.
“We do want the owner of Fellini’s to understand, however, that the residents who live in these condo buildings and the other residences nearby patronize Fellini’s every day and every night,” one organizer told BuckheadView.
“These motorcyclists for the most part only come to Fellini’s one night a week, and only when the weather is warm and nice,” the organizer continued. “We believe Fellini’s management also has some responsibility to control the motorcycle crowd and the noise.”
BuckheadView sent emails to APD Zone 2 Commander Van Hobbs and Atlanta City Council members Howard Shook,
Yolanda Adrean and Mary Norwood prior to Thursday night and again after Thursday night’s action by Gallery residents.
Adrean and Norwood responded.
Adrean said she would respond after talking with Major Hobbs. Norwood said she would attempt to organize a meeting between representatives of the condo homeowner associations with Major Hobbs, APD Field Operations Division Deputy Chief Joseph Spillane and City Council members Shook, Adrean and Norwood to be held in a couple of weeks to discuss the issue.
The residences on the east side of Peachtree Road—as well as Fellini’s restaurant—are in Shook’s council district. The residences on the west side of Peachtree are in Adrean’s district. Norwood is an at-large member of council who lives in Buckhead but represents the entire city.