August 1, 2006
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Greensboro, North Carolina has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for tolerating constant boom car noise, as well as having one of the nation’s weakest noise ordinances. For citizens of this medium-sized city in central North Carolina, extreme noise has become a way of life.
Jay Lineberry, a professional musician in Greensboro, states that “my quality of life has been seriously impaired over the last few years by loud music, particularly from boom cars. I feel that society doesn’t care much about people in my position. There is a local ordinance limiting the distance at which a car system can be heard, but it is not strongly enforced, and it doesn’t apply if the car is on private property. Incredibly, Greensboro’s noise ordinance does not take effect until 10:00 pm, and the boom car ordinance doesn’t apply if the vehicle is on private property! I feel like a prisoner in my own home, keeping the radio and television on much of the time in an attempt to block out noise.”
Lineberry states that even the intermittent periods of peace and quiet make him nervous, for fear that the unsettling boom of loud car stereos “might begin at any moment. I feel powerless, at the mercy of the whims of others.” He notes at many people in American society think it’s “cool” to make noise and disturb others.
Greensboro’s grocery stores are also dins of loud music, Lineberry reports. While grocery stores should be for everybody, many Greensboro stores “insist on blasting party music. This has led to me avoiding many stores, contributing to my sense of being a prisoner.”
Lineberry concludes, “When I can’t avoid other people’s music at home, even with all the windows shut, the situation is ridiculous. I even wear headphones to bed.”
Lauren Gaydon, another Greensboro resident, also reports that the city is very noisy: “Car stereos frequently override anything I may be listening to with my doors closed. It is detrimental to my health and sanity. There are also frequent fireworks. I know there is a noise ordinance in Greensboro–but it is rarely enforced.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, stated that “Greensboro’s noise ordinance is pathetic. Greensboro doesn’t even have a round-the-clock ordinance dealing with people making obnoxious noise. The fact that boom cars become legal once they are in a driveway or yard is outrageous. Greensboro richly deserves the Noisy Dozen award.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization dedicated to opposing noise pollution. Its web site is http://noisefree.org. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Echo Manufacturing, Pioneer Electronics, and the Massachusetts Department of Education.