by Amanda Lee

The Macomb Daily

May 21, 2011

Mark Roberts likes his music.

In fact, the Roseville resident likes to listen to his music loud. What Roberts, 50, doesn’t like is making others listen to his music as well.

Roberts, who has been on a one-man crusade to cut down on noise pollution in his Groesbeck and 13 Mile neighborhood, has become so fed up with the excessive noise emanating from cars driving by his home that he’s decided to do something about it.

“I have been complaining about this issue for six or seven years and absolutely nothing has been done,” said Roberts. “I think I’ve earned the right to sit in my house and not be disturbed by someone driving down the road who can’t turn their radio down.”

Roberts has organized “Ban the Boom Box,” a protest to be held at the intersection of Common and Gratiot in front of city hall at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“We actually were going to have an event like this a couple of years ago, but we got rained out,” Roberts said. “This year we picked the intersection of Common and Gratiot for two reasons — one is that it’s right in front of the police station and we wanted them to notice us.

“The other is that there’s a city council meeting that night and I figured we could go over there afterwards, too.”

Thanks to Roberts’ efforts, Roseville was given the Noisy Dozen Award from Noise Free America in October, naming it one of the noisiest cities in the country.

“I don’t like to make a pain of myself to the cops, but I don’t feel this is something that people should be able to get away with,” Roberts said. “I know people in my neighborhood who can’t have touch lights because their houses shake so much when a car goes by it turns the light on and off.

“That’s just ridiculous if you ask me,” he said.

Roberts said he’s made complaints to city officials and the Roseville

Police Department, but the answer is always the same.

“They always tell me to write down the license plate number and call them when I have it,” he said. “That doesn’t really work, though, because by the time I can get outside the car is three blocks down the road and I can’t read the license plate.”

Aside from just the aggravation of the noise, Roberts said he is also worried about motor vehicle safety if the radio is up that loud.

“How exactly are they hearing anything else that’s going on around them if the noise in their car is that loud?” he said.

Roberts said he’s gotten confirmation from at least 12 people for Tuesday’s protest — and he expects more when he and some friends hand out fliers about the event this weekend. “I’ve got one guy who is so fed up with noise pollution that he’s driving from Flint to be a part of it.”

Donnie Park, a resident of Roseville who lives on Park Street near

Utica, said he thinks Roberts’ idea is a good one.

“This time of year, I swear you hear 20 cars a night go down the street they’re so dang loud,” he said. “I’ve been woken out of a dead sleep because of the noise before.”

Anyone interested in participating in Roberts’ rally is urged to meet at the protest site shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“My hope is that this will draw some attention to this issue,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to take anyone’s rights away, but I also don’t want my rights infringed upon because people simply won’t turn down their music.”