April 1, 2005
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Louisville, Kentucky has won this month’s “Noisy Dozen” award from Noise Free America for tolerating an avalanche of boom cars, motorcycles, loud mufflers, pocket motorcycles, and gas scooters. The constant rumble disturbs Louisville residents at all hours of the day and night.
Louisville has also earned the award because of its sponsorship of the Carl Casper car show, which included contests for the loudest car stereo. Some vehicles exceeded the ear-splitting 160 dB level. This type of event only worsens the rude, inconsiderate, and unseemly behavior of young males blasting their car stereos down Louisville’s boulevards.
Ron Czapala, a longtime Louisville resident, states that he can hear the rumble “at three o’clock in the morning. On a typical summer evening, it’s not unusual to be assaulted by boom cars every five to ten minutes. Oftentimes, it is virtually impossible to sit on your porch or enjoy a backyard cookout with the incessant rumble of boom cars and loud mufflers. Once-quiet neighborhoods now sound more like raceways or hip-hop concerts. The steady noise is a growing threat to Louisville’s quality of life.”
Another Louisville resident, Ann Riley, comments that her Beechmont neighborhood used to be quiet and lovely. Now, because of “rowdy behavior and cars blasting loud music, it has become a very unsettling place to live. The music shakes the walls, making it impossible to have any kind of serenity. I don’t understand why these rude, inconsiderate, ill-mannered people are allowed to get away with this! Law-abiding citizens seem to have no rights at all–and our complaints have fallen on deaf ears.”
City officials concede that there is a problem. Metro Council members state that noise is a chief complaint from residents. Mayor Jerry Abramson acknowledges that he hears about noise complaints “from all over this community.”
Louisville has a strong ordinance against excessive noise. It states that “any manufactured noise plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from its point or origination or emanation” is an offense. Fines range from a minimum of $100 for the first offense to a maximum of $1,000 for the third offense within a two-year period.
The Louisville Metro web site declares that “our neighborhoods, subdivisions, and suburban cities reflect the warmth and vitality of our new community. We work hard to provide the services and amenities that make our city the place to be for raising a family, getting an education, pursuing a career, building a business, or enjoying retirement.” Louisville states that it wishes to be “one of the best cities in America!”
Unfortunately, Louisville’s aspirations have not been met. Czapala, founder of the web site http://www.noboomers.com, states that “Louisville’s new noise ordinance is a step in the right direction–but enforcement is severely lacking. We all need to stand up for our right to peace and quiet in our neighborhoods. If Louisville truly wishes to be a world-class city, it must protect the right of its citizens to peace and quiet.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens group opposed to noise pollution. Its web site is http://www.noisefree.org. Past “winners” of the award include Governor Jesse Ventura, Governor Gray Davis, Circuit City, and Youngstown, Ohio.