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Re: [carfree_cities] Noise

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  • J.H. Crawford
    ... It s a matter of definition. To me, noise is any sound that I find irritating. Not everybody agrees what constitutes noise, and different sounds can be
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 2, 2000
      Mike Lacey replied:

      >> Modern trams are
      >> mostly much noiser than necessary--listen to a 1935 PCC streetcar
      >> in good working order, especially the slightly later "all electric"
      >> version that had no compressed air system at all. Noise is a major
      >> issue, and we shouldn't forget about it just to save some money--
      >> we're going to be living with the noise "forever."

      >Would you allow that there is good noise and bad noise?

      It's a matter of definition. To me, "noise" is any sound that
      I find irritating. Not everybody agrees what constitutes noise,
      and different sounds can be noise or not at different times
      and places. One of the nicest things about Venice is its acoustic
      environment. It isn't silent in Venice, but the sounds are not
      what we're used to: bells tolling the hour, the clatter of
      footsteps, porters whistling as they work, gondoliers singing
      to their customers, chattering tourists, the clink of tableware
      at an outdoor restaurant. In some places and at some times, you'll
      hear muted diesel engines in boats, which I'd call noise, although
      it doesn't especially bother me.

      A friend spent a night walking through Venice and tells of walking
      into the Piazza San Marco at about 4 in the morning and hearing
      someone playing the harmonica. Then someone else with a harmonica
      in a different key walked into the plaza and started working
      out a harmony with the other player. Where else in the world
      could that happen?

      >The resonant
      >ringing of cathedral bells or the moan of a lonely foghorn are man-
      >made and yet, to my ear beautiful.

      Try living next to a fog horn in Maine. You'd grow to hate it.
      But I agree--if the foghorn is distant and doesn't blow all
      of the time, it can be an addition, not a liability. Personally,
      I love having a clock ringing the hours, if it's not too loud.

      >Maybe the same could be said of
      >the whirring of a PCC streetcar or the rattle of an old SF cable car.

      The clatter of the controllers on a PCC car don't bother me at
      all. The screeching of wheels going around a tight curve bothers
      me always--the noise can damage hearing in some places. People
      in SF were bothered by the increased noise that the cable car shivs
      made after the reconstruction of the system in the 1980s, although
      I expect that the problems have long since been fixed.

      In short, sound is one of the most imporant variables in the
      local environment, one that we would do well to pay more attention
      to in designing cities. Same goes for smells.



      ###

      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      postmaster@... Carfree.com
    • Philip D Riggs
      The noises frustrating me most these days are loud car radios and overly loud motorcycles. When the bass of a car system can rattle my windows from 300 feet
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 2, 2000
        The noises frustrating me most these days are loud car radios and overly
        loud motorcycles. When the bass of a car system can rattle my windows
        from 300 feet away it is excessive. And the high pitch whine of a
        motorcycle zooming from a stop sign raises my anxiety level. I wish every
        city in the US would adopt some sort of noise pollution. Has Europe
        addressed these problems, or are Europeans more conscious of the bother
        these things cause? I think one of the side benefits of the car is the
        isolation from the problems they cause. Concern for neighbor has
        disappeared from America. I laugh when I hear G. Bush's plan for public
        support of social programs. Nobody cares about the people around them
        when they are isolated from the problems of the poor, sick, and elderly.

        *******************************
        Philip Riggs
        Colorado State University
        Fort Collins, Colorado
      • Wong, Tim
        I continue to contend that there is no more consistently irritating noise than the gas- or nuclear/coal-powered (electric) lawn mowers and their new cousins,
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 3, 2000
          I continue to contend that there is no more consistently irritating noise
          than the gas- or nuclear/coal-powered (electric) lawn mowers and their new
          cousins, the gas-powered rakes and brooms. Most motorcycles and cars are at
          least moving, as irritating as their noise is when they're right near you.
          Compare that to your polar icecap-melting neighbor using a power lawn mower
          to mow a postage stamp-sized lawn and taking longer to do it than it takes
          me to use my brown rice-powered reel mower. As a society, we have somehow
          accepted that affront to everyone's ears within a block because it is
          "mainstream" people doing it. Imagine how soon the police would be called
          on a noise complaint if some teenagers played heavy metal or rap music for
          15 minutes at the decibel level of a gas-powered lawn mower.

          tim

          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Philip D Riggs [SMTP:mrphilgood@...]
          > Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2000 8:54 AM
          > To: carfree_cities@egroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Noise
          >
          > The noises frustrating me most these days are loud car radios and overly
          > loud motorcycles. When the bass of a car system can rattle my windows
          > from 300 feet away it is excessive. And the high pitch whine of a
          > motorcycle zooming from a stop sign raises my anxiety level. I wish every
          > city in the US would adopt some sort of noise pollution. Has Europe
          > addressed these problems, or are Europeans more conscious of the bother
          > these things cause? I think one of the side benefits of the car is the
          > isolation from the problems they cause. Concern for neighbor has
          > disappeared from America. I laugh when I hear G. Bush's plan for public
          > support of social programs. Nobody cares about the people around them
          > when they are isolated from the problems of the poor, sick, and elderly.
          >
          >
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... We ve got Harleys here that are every bit as noisy as the ones in the USA. It s simply inconceivable that this sort of public insult is permitted. ... I d
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 4, 2000
            Philip Riggs said:

            >The noises frustrating me most these days are loud car radios and overly
            >loud motorcycles.

            We've got Harleys here that are every bit as noisy as the
            ones in the USA. It's simply inconceivable that this sort
            of public insult is permitted.

            >When the bass of a car system can rattle my windows
            >from 300 feet away it is excessive.

            I'd say it's far beyond excessive. It's an issue here, too.

            >And the high pitch whine of a
            >motorcycle zooming from a stop sign raises my anxiety level. I wish every
            >city in the US would adopt some sort of noise pollution. Has Europe
            >addressed these problems, or are Europeans more conscious of the bother
            >these things cause?

            There is some awareness here, and some steps have been taken.
            Some of the worst offenders here belong to the "motor-scooter"
            class of vehicles, some of them being incredibly loud. The police
            have stepped in here, and the situation is not as bad as it was.

            >I think one of the side benefits of the car is the
            >isolation from the problems they cause. Concern for neighbor has
            >disappeared from America. I laugh when I hear G. Bush's plan for public
            >support of social programs. Nobody cares about the people around them
            >when they are isolated from the problems of the poor, sick, and elderly.

            Yes, I've always said that social issues are at the heart of the
            carfree concept, and that private cars are a major cause of
            social isolation, for a host of reasons.


            ###

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            postmaster@... Carfree.com
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