Last Sunday a group met downtown to discuss the subject of noise complaints in the downtown area - more specifically, complaints having to do with loud music. In late February, the Zonemaven weighed in on the subject (click here to read that blog posting). Not much has changed since that blog entry. The main theme of the supporters of “nightlife culture” is that of entitlement with the underlying and hackneyed refrain “If you don’t like it, move.” Supporters of more objective measures of noise might pause in their demands as those decibel meters do not lie. As for Mr. Bornemann’s comment (I assume he has been quoted accurately) that “It’s not noise, it’s music.” is just flat out incorrect. It is all sound waves obeying the laws of physics – amplitude and frequency. When these factors exceed certain levels the sound becomes noise, a subjective measure, some would say. However, science is demonstrating that certain volume levels damage the ears and have deleterious effects on humans in terms of stress. Even musicians playing classical music, long associated with relaxation, are having problems with hearing loss as the result of their proximity to instruments. (Click here to read a NY Times article on the subject).
Consequently, noise abatement is not only about quiet enjoyment it is a health issue. A good summary of noise regulation can be found on Wikipedia by clicking here. I suggest the members of the City Council (not to mention the citizenry) do some reading on the subject before launching into a let's-change-the-code mode. As I asked (but received no replies) in my February blog post on the subject, "And finally - can anyone tell me why one cannot just turn the gratuitous noise down?"