July 1, 2006
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Youngstown, Ohio has won Noise Free America’s Noisy Dozen award, again, for continuing to allow its citizens to be bombarded with outrageous levels of noise. Youngstown’s citizens are still inundated with bass booming cars, blaring music, incessant barking dogs, junky cars without mufflers, thunderous backyard fireworks shows, rumbling motorcycles, and loud gunshots. In short, noise levels in Youngstown are completely out of control.
Youngstown, a mid-sized city with a shrinking population in northeastern Ohio’s rust belt, is best known for its high crime rate and corrupt public officials. Persisent noise pollution can be added to the list. Noise Free America first cited Youngstown for inhumane noise levels in February 2002, stating that, “for those who prefer peace and quiet, it’s a daily hell.”
Now many residents of Youngstown are speaking out. In an online discussion sponsored by the Youngstown Vindicator, one noise victim wrote, “I just returned to Youngstown after two years overseas. In that time, I believe we’ve seen an increase in not only the amount of cars with loud thumping bass stereos, but also in the volume of that thumping bass. I live in what used to be a very peaceful part of the north side with very nice homes, but now my solid brick house literally rattles at least five times every hours as these cars pass by. Didn’t Youngstown pass a law requiring that every car with a certain decibel capability be seized and impounded? Why aren’t these laws enforced? Does the city really believe that we’ll ever attract any business as long as these music ‘lovers’ are destroying the peace of our neighborhoods while blatantly ignoring the most basic of laws and getting away with it? What are our leaders doing? Praying that it all goes away?”
Another participant in the Vindicator’s discussion stated, “I was at a doctor’s office on the lower part of Market Street recently. I was in the waiting room for over an hour. It’s a brick building. One came by every 5-10 seconds. I counted over 100 of them while sitting there. The floor and seat was shaking from the bass. The cops’ strategy is to wait until the cold weather returns. Other than that they won’t do anything. When public outrage gets so bad, they’ll make a few token citations and make a big write up about it in the paper to make it seem like they’re addressing the problem. They’re not. They don’t care.”
This writer went on to say that Chicago, New York City, and Cleveland “have all gotten a handle on this. There is no reason Youngstown can’t. The police are in the way of the noise ordinance. These cars are rampant all over Youngstown because they refuse to enforce the law. Do yourself a favor: get out of here. My house is on the market now. When it sells, I’m gone.”
The hostile, aggressive attitudes of Youngstown’s boom car noisemakers are also present on the Vindicator’s discussion board. One boom car thug stated: “Screw your law and you cry baby *** residents. I have a $1500 system in my ride and I WILL use it. Who cares about you and your stupid *** trying to regulate my behavior? You must be a bunch of old ******** that never get any! Bet you just got done calling the cops on some kids riding skateboards, too!” While this boomer promised that he supposedly didn’t boom at night or in driveways, he stated, “What street do you live on? I’ll be sure to DROP some BASS on YOU!!!!!!!”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, commented, “Clearly, Youngtown officials are not addressing the menace posed by these aggressive noisemakers. Until the police, the mayor, and the city council take the very attainable steps to maintain the peace, the boom will go on and Youngstown will continue to be noise hell.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization dedicated to opposing noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Echo Manufacturing and Pioneer Electronics. Its web site is http://noisefree.org.