May 1, 2004
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Burbank, California has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for tolerating an avalanche of noise from boom cars, motorycycles, motorized scooters and mopeds, illegal after-market exhausts, leaf blowers, garbage trucks, mobile ice ream trucks, store public address systems, loud parties, and middle-of-the-night deliveries. Burbank officials have consistently refused to address this growing threat to public health and safety.
Eden Rosen, a twenty-year resident of Burbank, commented that “Burbank just closed a downtown nightclub because of noise, but it took months. I am often awakened by early-morning lawn mowing. In Burbank, parties often go on until 6:00 in the morning.”
Rosen has found little support among the Burbank police. “Burbank is full of boom cars and vroom cars and I never see a cop around to ticket them. Burbank police officers have told me that ‘noise happens everywhere’ and that I should just move.”
Rosen has taken her concerns about noise to elected officials. “I testified before the Burbank city council on March 16, 2004 about our city’s escalating problem–but they ignored me. Citizens in the audience applauded. Many people in Burbank are sick and tired of how noisy this place is. But our elected representatives didn’t seem to care. Burbank is becoming just as crazy as everywhere else.”
Burbank has recently passed an ordinance related to noise in parks. “However,” said Rosen, “it is only a first step–and a small step. The police need to vigorously enforce anti-noise laws, and city officials need to understand just how fed up people are. The process is just too slow.”
Noise Free America’s director, Ted Rueter, stated that “what’s happening in Burbank is very typical. American cities are becoming louder and louder. In the last 15 years, noise levels in major urban areas have increased six-fold. Excessive noise in Burbank and many other cities is causing stress, aggravation, sleep depravation, and hearing loss. Noise is a tremendous threat to America’s quality of life.”
“Unfortunately,” Rueter continued, “police departments and elected officials in most American cities do not seem to take noise seriously–in spite of the fact that a Census Bureau report found that noise is Americans’ #1 complaint about their neighborhoods, and the main reason they wish to move. It is time for the police and elected representatives to take strong action against excessive noise.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization opposed to noise pollution. Its web site is http://www.noisefree.org. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Governor Gray Davis, Governor Jesse Ventura, Flowmaster, and Youngstown, Ohio.