For immediate release
June 8, 2021
Chapel Hill: The West Chester, Pennsylvania police department and mayor have won a “Healthy Soundscape” award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for taking action to reduce noise in the downtown area. Police will soon implement “Operation Quiet Downtown,” which will entail adding traffic patrols and citing the loudest motor vehicle offenders.
West Chester police chief James Morehead stated that “we wish for everyone to be able to enjoy this incredible town and everything it has to offer. Our residents and visitors should be able to walk and eat in town without noise that interferes with everyday life.”
“This has been a long-standing quality of life and health issue,” said West Chester mayor Jordan Norley. “Let it be known now: if you harass our residents and pedestrians to show off how loud your car or motorcycle is, West Chester won’t stand for that any longer. We will pull you over, and you will be ticketed. Think before you try to show off.”
Mike Molesevich, the former mayor of nearby Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, noted that West Chester’s police department and mayor deserve admiration for taking action to reduce noise in their downtown. “Reducing noise is good for business and property values in all towns across Pennsylvania. Other police departments should learn from West Chester that citizens want enforcement–not excuses.”
Paula Christy and Joannah McGregor, co-chairs of Union County Citizens Against Noise, “applaud the police chief and the mayor of West Chester their efforts to improve the quality of life of their citizens by curbing noise pollution. Our elected officials in Mifflinburg have brushed aside our pleas for noise control with demeaning comments, while performing the necessary non-meaningful steps to enable them to say that they pursued the matter.” Christy and McGregor state that “we were given many excuses as to how difficult it is to enforce the laws regarding this problem; we hope that the example of West Chester will show that it is possible and provide an initiative for officials in communities such as ours to recognize the seriousness of noise pollution. We all have the right to live in a peaceful, healthy environment.”
Shannon Brown, the founder of the Pennsylvania Association for Noise Pollution Abatement (based in Lackawanna county), asserted that “Pennsylvania communities already possess tools to address illegal vehicle noise. West Chester is fulfilling its duty to protect community members and visitors from illegal vehicle noise. West Chester correctly understands that noise is a quality of life issue for residents and an economic issue for merchants and downtown development.”
Summing up the good news of West Chester’s actions against unnecessary noise, West Grove resident Sherrill Franklin stated, “I am looking forward to dining in downtown West Chester and enjoying the quiet!”
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization devoted to noise reduction. Past winners of the Healthy Soundscape award include Portland, Oregon; Washington, DC; and three pre-teen siblings fighting gas-powered leaf blowers in Lafayette, California.