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Good Reasons Why unnecessary vehicle noise should be controlled Tom Michalek

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Presentation on theme: "Good Reasons Why unnecessary vehicle noise should be controlled Tom Michalek"— Presentation transcript:

1 Good Reasons Why unnecessary vehicle noise should be controlled Tom Michalek

2 Reason #1 It is an uncontested, universally accepted given that unnecessary noise induces stress and that stress is a major risk factor for multiple physical and mental health issues. “Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere." Dr. William H. Stewart, former Surgeon General of the United States

3 Reason #2 It is an uncontested, self-evident universally accepted given that unnecessary noise reduces property value Prospective home buyers will pay a premium for exceptionally quiet neighborhoods and will either shun homes in noisy neighborhoods or demand a significant price discount

4 Reason #3 It is self-evident that unnecessary noise diminishes quality of life. According to the 2005 American Housing Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, more people are so unhappy that they would like to move because of noise than because of crime.

5 Reason #4 Federal Law requires that unnecessary noise be controlled. U.S. Code Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare Chapter 65 – Noise Control “The Congress finds that inadequately controlled noise presents a growing danger to the health and welfare of the Nation’s population…” “The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health and welfare.”

6 Reason #5 Federal Law assigns responsibility for controlling unnecessary noise to states and municipalities. U.S. Code Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare Chapter 65 – Noise Control “…primary responsibility for control of noise rests with State and local governments…”

7 Reason #6 Unnecessary vehicle noise is currently prohibited by St. Peters ordinances Article X. Noises “It shall be unlawful for any person to create or assist in creating, permitting, continuing or permit the continuance of any loud, disturbing or unnecessary noise in the City” “Noise of such character, intensity and duration as to be detrimental to the life or health of any individual or to unreasonably disturb or annoy the quiet, comfort and repose of any individual is prohibited Section 380.030 Muffler Cutouts, ETC. “The motors of all motor vehicles shall be fitted with properly attached mufflers of such capacity or construction as to quiet the maximum possible exhaust noise as completely as is done in modern gas engine passenger motor vehicles.”

8 Reason #7 Every elected official has sworn to protect the health and welfare and property of all citizens. The Federal Government has declared that unnecessary noise jeopardizes health and welfare U.S. CodeTitle 42 – The Public Health and Welfare Chapter 65 – Noise Control

9 Reason #8 Every elected official has sworn to uphold ALL laws and ordinances of the city. The current laws and ordinances prohibit unnecessary noise. Noise made as a result of removing mufflers or replacing them with devices designed to be many times louder than original equipment is a violation of existing city ordinances.

10 Reason #9 Because of perceived laxness in upholding the law, vehicle owners currently feel free to operate motor vehicles without mufflers or with devices designed to produce significantly greater noise emissions than original equipment. As reported in the “White Paper”, a local motorcycle dealer stated that 95% of his customers replace stock (EPA approved) exhaust equipment with straight pipes (zero muffling).

11 Reason #10 Without action by the City Council, the probability is high that the number of illegally modified vehicles will continue to grow. In addition to the estimate that 95% of new motorcycle owners install louder exhaust systems, simple observation reveals that car and truck owners are also modifying their exhaust systems for the purpose of making them louder.

12 Reason #11 If left uncontrolled, increasing occurrences of noise translates to increasingly diminished health, quality of life and property value.

13 Reason #12 It is illogical and inconsistent to ignore mobile noise as a threat to health, welfare and property value while aggressively controlling stationary noise - - including the annual, recurring cost of staff plus the capital cost and maintenance of expensive equipment. The city has and continues to investigate and validate complaints for stationary sources of noise which requires a “Code Enforcement Officer”, expensive equipment and field measurements.

14 Reason #13 It is illogical and inconsistent to include noise as a significant factor in planning and zoning decisions, but permit any and all unnecessary noise produced by moving vehicles.

15 Reason #14 It is illogical and inconsistent to spend tax dollars in planning and implementing noise abatement structures or easements which can only reduce noise by 5-7dB, and endorse a policy of uncontrolled noise for moving vehicles which produce 35 to 65dB above normal noise levels. MODOT will spend $30,000 per residence to achieve as little as 5dB effectiveness. Cars, trucks and motorcycles increase neighborhood noise by 35 to 65 dB according to equipment manufacturer and user data.

16 Reason #15 Failure to act and implement an enforceable law to control mobile sources of noise is a dereliction of duty of the elected officials, sworn to protect health and welfare and uphold all of the laws of the state and city.

17 Reason #16 all laws If a majority of the aldermen are reluctant to enforce the city’s laws, state law requires the mayor to provide leadership to ensure that all laws are enforced. "The mayor shall be active and vigilant in enforcing all laws and ordinances for the government of the city, and he shall cause all subordinate officers to be dealt with promptly for any neglect or violation of duty;“ Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 79 Fourth Class Cities Section 79.200

18 Reason #17 Control of unnecessary vehicle noise is practical, effective and legal Cities large and small have successfully implemented the “plainly audible standard”. -Simple -Requires no expensive equipment -Has withstood court challenges -Recent years “Method of choice” for cities large and small New York City, Nashville, TN, Chicago, IL, Elkhart IN, Kalispell, MT, Hartford, CN, Berwyn, IL, New Bern, NC

19 Reason #18 Even at an implementation cost of $30,000, elimination or control of a proven threat to health, welfare and property value for an entire city of 55,000 residents is a bargain. MODOT noise abatement policy authorizes spending $30,000 per residence to reduce noise by a mere 5dB when a highway project results in increased noise to residential areas. Without controls, residents are increasingly exposed to noise levels 35-55dB higher than normal $30,000 to control an acknowledged threat to health, welfare and property value for a city of 19,000 residences and 55,000 citizens is a bargain. At a cost of $30,000 dollars, the cost per residence is just $1.60 or $0.55 per resident; a bargain to remedy an existing health, welfare and property value issue and ensure that it doesn’t continue to grow and spread.

20 Decision Decision What choice is in the best interest of the citizens of St. Peters? Control unnecessary vehicle noise 18 18 Good Reasons Uncontrolled “anything goes” vehicle noise… Zero Reasons? ? ?

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