August 1, 2004
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Norwalk, Connecticut has won this month’s “Noisy Dozen” award from Noise Free America for tolerating a deluge of extreme noise from nightclubs, boom cars, hot rods, and motorcycles. Norwalk officials have turned a deaf ear to the growing menace of illegal, invasive noise, and have allowed a steady descent into decadence.
Robert Shiarella, director of the Washington Street Design District Block Association, commented that he bought a condo in the historic Washington Street neighborhood, eagerly anticipating life amidst retro-type shops and stylish restaurants. Instead, he found a constant assault of noise.
“In the Washington Street district,” Shiarella stated, “we are pulverized by noise. It’s bad during the day and it’s hellish at night. For starters, there’s the frequent screaming of emergency vehicles and diabolical car alarms. Even worse is the blasting ‘techno music’ from nightclubs, which crank up booming, bass-driven cacophony to ear-splitting levels (at 140 pounding bass beats per minute). The noise levels are both illegal and extremely unhealthy.”
Shiarella notes that “predictably, the extreme noise levels at these nightclubs lure herds of motorcyclists and cruising hot rodders. These noise-lovers goose their illegally-muffled engines to full throttle and crank their stereos to mind-numbing intensity. The noise has made this neighborhood unlivable.”
Emir Arslanagic, a Washington Street restaurant manager, stated that “the noise is making us all crazy. Car stereos make our windows shake. Motorcycles and hot rods roar their motors and then zoom across the bridge so loud we hear them from miles away. We can hear the booming music from nightclubs. I put double windows on, but it didn’t help.” Arslanagic also reports that he and his family “can’t have quiet talk or hear the television without interruptions by noise. We can’t sleep because it’s noisy all night. We have a baby, and we have to move because of unhealthy, dangerous noise. And the Norwalk cops–they do nothing.”
Robert Shiarella noted that Norwalk has an extremely tough Noise Code, which is “more than sufficient for the police to make our community peacefully quiet. And while the police respond admirably to citizen complaints about noise and other disturbances, they never issue noise summonses or take aggressive steps–even when flagrant violations occur right in front of them.” Because of Norwalk’s passive attitude toward noise, according to Shiarella, “citizens are being denied the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their home and community. If New York City can clean up Times Square, city officials can restore peace and civility to Norwalk.”
Noise Free America’s director, Ted Rueter, commented that “noise is a prime cause of neighborhood decay. Blaring nightclubs, illegal exhausts, and boom cars are completely incompatible with the peaceful enjoyment of life. It’s time for Norwalk police and elected officials to protect the right to peace and quiet.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens group dedicated to opposing noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Nosy Dozen award include Flowmaster, Viper car alarms, Echo Manufacturing, Governor Gray Davis, and Youngstown. Noise Free America’s web site is http://noisefree.org.