March 1, 2002
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Bloomington, Indiana has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for subjecting its citizens to a daily barrage of boom cars, deafening exhaust systems, blaring store music, droning low-flying planes, and thumping campus bars and fraternities.
Thaddeus McCortland stated that “Bloomington used to be a quiet place. But no longer. Last summer, the Monroe County Library even sponsored a boom car workshop for teenagers, and the County fairgrounds hosted a boom car extravaganza. Anyone looking for a quiet place to live should look elsewhere.”
McCortland reports that excessively loud vehicles are a chronic source of noise pollution: “Thousands of college students in Bloomington bring their boom cars, their addiction to defeaning bass music, and their aggressive ‘look at me’ attitude. We’ve also seen a dramatic increase in the number of vehicles spewing out loud exhaust noise. This place deserves a big sign, ‘Noise ‘R’ Us.'”
According to Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America, Indiana has no motor vehicle inspection system to weed out noisy cars. “At least the city and county have motor vehicle ordinances prohibiting loud stereo noise and unmuffled exhaust noise,” he said.
However, McCortland notes that there is virtually no enforcement of motor vehicle noise laws by County Sheriff Sharp: “What’s the point of a tough law if it isn’t enforced? And Mayor Fernandez and the Common Council lack the political will to protect Bloomington citizens from the noise terrorists.”
D.K. Smith, a Bloomington artist, commented that a typical day in Bloomington consists of “being woken up by your neighbor cranking up his car stereo, hearing loud cars go by, hearing loud whiny music and ads in stores, being battered by ‘background’ music in restaurants, and being assaulted by a blasting soundtrack at a movie, and going home to street noises as you try to sleep. Bloomington is becoming Noise Hell.”
Perhaps Jorgen Christiansen, 29, a hydraulics engineer form Denmark, summed it up best: “This is my first time to America. But I tell you: I cannot wait to go back to Denmark. No one can make so much noise to bother people in Denmark. You pay a big fine or go to jail.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens group dedicated to reducing noise pollution. Its web site is http://www.noisefree.org. Previous “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Richmond, Virginia and Youngstown, Ohio.