Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On This Date in History: City, Residents Met About Noise

It was one year ago today, on Aug. 30, that 19 residents and city officials gathered at Sherwood Recreation Center to discuss how to deal with ongoing noise issues at H and 8th Streets NE (Community, D.C. Agencies Meet About Noise Issue). The noisemakers were invited to attend, but declined at the last minute.

Fifty-two weekends and 110 decibels later, nothing has changed.

During the meeting, all attendees agreed the amplified noise was the focus of the problem. Working together, the city agencies initiated a plan to tackle the problem. It included weekly decibel meter readings by the Dept. of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

As a result, the noisemaking fellows were cited and fined on three separate occasions for exceeding the legal decibel limits--or at least for what everyone thought were legal decibel limits.

In December, the District of Columbia Office of Attorney General discovered a loophole in the law. It allows for unlimited decibels levels of amplified, non-commercial speech anywhere in the city. The noise hasn’t stopped since.

That was 52-Saturdays-of-amplified-noise ago. Apparently the D.C. City Council thinks nobody is counting. Actually, the residents and businesses of H and 8th NE are rudely reminded of the tally each and every weekend.

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