Don Bauder 12:30 p.m., April 30
- Community Blog
It's the NOISE
Right now, you will disagree with that title because right now it is the HEAT!!
Noise is a long term exposure issue as well as a one- time "explosion" problem. A previous commenter questioned why I would move to the city. Well, I got here before the incessant noise. I have lived downtown since 1998. It was a lovely place to live. I could walk along the boardwalk, wander through Seaport Village, go to Horton Plaza. I rarely encountered homeless persons and the ones I did see were rather timid. (I wonder if there are people who actually teach some of the homeless how to be aggressive or is that due to the increase in numbers and competition?) AND there was very little NOISE.
Then along came the, apparently sought after, developers. I have searched but have not been able to pinpoint who/when the decision was made that San Diego was in need of high rise buildings. As far as my opinion, I think McMillin, Manchester, Bosa, etc. had the money & wherewithal to get their claws into the City Council & multiple mayors, CCDC, CCAC, etc. I do not have any proof of any kind to accuse anyone of anything. What I do know is that the City of San Diego has been "run" by corrupt policiticians for many, many years. Judges, attorneys, agency heads, mayors, City council, many of whom went to prison.
What happened is that this once fine city has been changed into a metropolis of empty highrises. To get to that point the residents have lived in a construction zone, subjected to the sounds of large trucks; dirt; dust; jackhammers; diesel exhaust; cement mixers, & whatever other sounds go along with that. There is also the issue of over exposure to pollutants. I know that there were several long months of constant construction which certainly was not good for the health of the residents already here.
Here are some statistics about noise: First a definition of Noise Pollution: It is a displeasing sound that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life (Wikipedia)
"Noise pollution can cause annoyance & aggression, hypertension, stress, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances and other harmful effects."
There is an organization, Noise Free America, which regularly lobbies for enforcement of noise ordinances. "http://www.noisefree.org/"
In the USA, governments at all levels regard noise as a nuisance, rather than an environmental issue. If there are laws on the books, they usually cover the hours of 10 PM to 6 AM. Because I feel that the police have better things to do, I rarely call them about noise. If there was a Noise patrol, I am sure their phones would be constantly busy.
The downtown noise is generated by humans. They play LOUD music on rooftops, inside buildings with the windows & door open,
in vehicles, in pedicabs, etc. The residents of downtown (only those who agree with me) cannot sleep until after 2:30 AM on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights.
A study (Sleeping through Noise, But Still Feeling Its Effects, NYTimes, March 4, 2008) suggests that noise while sleeping can significantly raise your blood pressure, even when it doesn't wake you up. From Noise Free America: "The adverse health effects of noise are numerous and important. It is the role of government to protect us from noise & other forms of pollution."
In San Diego, I tried working with people to reduce the noise from the Ivy rooftop LOUD MUSIC factory. It was initially a successful venture, but upon a change in management, they reneged. I suppose that is a typical response of corporate America. CCDC seems to harbor a care less attitude (as long as they keep the developers happy?). In fact, they recently approved more downtown noise for Stingaree. There were 3 other establishments for hearing but, I cannot find the outcome on CCDC's website. The places were, Osetra, Lucky D's, Taste & Thirst.
There is a very interesting article by Barry Blesser, PhD, entitled "The Seductive (Yet Destructive) Appeal of Loud Music" & the expanded version presented to the International Congress on Noise as Public Health Problem, 2008" His concluding comments include, "..like all forms of pleasure, excess produces damage, and everyone must balance the risk versus reward". "Balance is a personal choice that cannot be legislated." "...moderation rather than excess is often the best compromise."
San Diego has become a city of LOUD MUSIC, perpetrated on us by developers with the express approval of CCDC and the other agencies involved in the approval of NOISE (this includes the police department).
Maybe someday, somewhere in San Diego, someone will conduct a study to determine the detrimental effects of LOUD MUSIC, on the populace of downtown.