Sunday, July 24, 2005

High Noise Levels Resume

Much to our chagrin, and after seemingly much progress on reducing the noise levels on Saturday afternoons, the situation deteriorated July 23 with the resumption of long periods of amplified speech. I know several neighbors called the 311 number three or more times to complain, but we're not sure if officers responded. The amplified noise levels lasted from at least 3 p.m. until after 6:30 p.m.

The residents of the 700 block of 8th Street are meeting Wednesday, July 27, to discuss this and other issues. We've invited ANC6C Commissioner Anthony Rivera and Skip Coburn from Councilwoman Ambrose’s office to the meeting. Both agree to attend.

I asked the city agencies to please let the neighborhood know what it should expect on Saturdays, and what our next course of action should be. We want to continue working together to resolve this...we are an active, tax-paying citizenry and want to know what more can be done. First, the community, I believe, needs these questions answered:

1. We understand and support the noise-making groups' rights to freedom of speech, religion and assembly. But what are our rights when it comes to noise? In other words: What exactly is the District of Columbia's noise ordinance?

2. Based on the decibel measurements take by the DCRA on June 18, is there a violation?

3. If violations are occurring, what should the community expect in regard to enforcement?

Again, we are a community of activists. We understand problem solving involves teamwork--including the residents. We want to help resolve this. We need to determine our next course of action. We want to get this noise thing resolved so we can work together to fix other problems in the community.