Thursday, July 05, 2007

Downtown Neighborhood Association Supports Noise Fix

The District of Columbia Downtown Neighborhood Association this week said it supports pending legislation to fix the current noise law. Representatives said they will participate in Monday's public hearing. The complete letter:

July 2, 2007

Ms. Mary Cheh
Chairperson
Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

Mr. Tommy Wells
Councilmember - Ward 6
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Mr. Kwame Brown
Councilmember – At Large
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

RE: Support for Bill 17-177, “Noise Control Protection Amendment Act of 2007”

Dear Chairperson Cheh, Councilmember Wells and Councilmember Brown:

On behalf of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Inc., a civic association whose members are comprised of downtown residents, we would like to express and register our support for the improved noise-abatement rules contained in the above noted legislation.

We appreciate the vibrancy of living in a downtown environment. However, current building code fails to adequately protect residents from the penetration of noise into our homes. Unlike other cities with high-rise living, we are in mid-rise buildings, so noise has greater impact since residents are closer to the sound rising from our streets. This follows efforts by large cities like New York City to provide citizens with healthier lives and more civilized public places. (In New York City’s recent new regulations, if amplified noise from a car can be heard 25 feet away, it is a violation.)

The proposed amendment, with enforcement, will improve the quality of life of all downtown residents, especially if:

* It will give us better protection at night when many prefer a full night’s sleep.

* Further restrict the hours and/or the duration that amplified music and urban drumming can be played.

* Enhance neighborhood safety by limiting the distractions facing pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

* Give enforcement powers to the MPD and the DCRA, and ensure that the appropriate police substations are equipped with a sound meter and all personnel are adequately trained to use it during all shifts.

Consequently, we wholeheartedly support the bill before you. Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Miles E. Groves
Director, Downtown Neighborhood Association, Inc.

cc: Mr. Jack Evans, Ward 2 Councilmember

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