Neighbors for Neighbors

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Hello Neighbors,

I live on Amory Street near the Brewery and I work on Centre Street next to Bank of America. I am curious what other folks in Jamaica Plain have in the way of opinions about the numerous vehicles in and around the neighborhood that routinely blast extremely loud music from over-powered stereos? Am I just getting old or is this just ridiculously out of control?

It blows me away that the city just looks the other way. I am of the opinion that when you live close together in an urban environment such as ours - you have to play nice in the sandbox. We all have a right to "quiet enjoyment" as much as that is possible.

I did a quick search and found a couple ordinances that might apply:


The MA Department of Environmental Protection has issued some regulations under the authority of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter
111, Section 142B and D.  310 CMR 7.10 (subject to some rather complex
enforcement provisions laid out in 310 CMR 7.52) states:
 
7.10: U Noise(1) No person owning, leasing, or controlling a source of
sound shall willfully, negligently, or through failure to provide
necessary equipment, service, or maintenance or to take
necessary precautions cause, suffer, allow, or permit unnecessary
emissions from said source of sound that may cause noise.(2) 310 CMR
7.10(1) shall pertain to, but shall not be limited to, prolonged
unattended sounding of burglar alarms, construction and demolition
equipment which characteristically emit sound but which may be fitted and
accommodated with equipment such as enclosures to suppress sound or may
be operated in a manner so as to suppress sound, suppressible and
preventable industrial and commercial sources of sound, and other
man-made sounds that cause noise.(3) 310 CMR 7.10(1) shall not apply to
sounds emitted during and associated with:(a) parades, public
gatherings, or sporting events, for which permits have been
issued provided that said parades, public gatherings, or sporting events
in one city or town do not cause noise in another city or town;(b)
emergency police, fire, and ambulance vehicles;(c) police, fire, and
civil and national defense activities;(d) domestic equipment such as
lawn mowers and power saws between the hours of 7:00A.M. and 9:00 P.M.
 
 
More to the point, individual cities and towns are authorized to
promulgate their own by-laws or ordinances regarding noise and noise
pollution.
  Therefore, you should contact your local police
while the noise is occurring and ask them to investigate and apply the
laws in your community.  I'm sure that the police could also direct you
to the local ordinances so you can investigate what types of noise are
prohibited.  In Boston, you can contact the Boston Police Party Line at
617-343-5500.  Here are some relevant ordinances for Boston:
 
16-26.1 General Prohibition and Definitions.

No person shall make or cause to be made any unreasonable or
excessive noise in the city, by whatever means or from whatever means or
from whatever source. As used herein, the following terms shall have
the following meanings:

a. dBa shall mean A-weighted sound level in decibels, as measured by
a general purpose sound level meter complying with the provisions of
the American National Standard Institute, "Specifications far Sound
Level Meter (ANSI SIR 19711)", properly calibrated, and operated on the
"A" weighting network

b. Load amplification device or similar equipment shall mean a
radio, television, phonograph, stereo, record player, tape player,
cassette player, compact disc player, loud speaker, or sound amplifier
which is operated in such a manner that it creates unreasonable or
excessive noise.

c. Unreasonable or excessive noise shall mean
1. Noise measured in excess of 50 dBa between the hours of 11:00
p.m.. and 7:00 a.m.., or in excess of 70 dBa at all other hours; or

2. In the absence of an applicable noise level standard or
regulation of the Air Pollution control commission, any noise plainly
audible at a distance of three hundred (300) feet or, in the case of
loud amplification devices of similar equipment, noise plainly audible
at a distance of one hundred (100) feet from its source by a person of
normal hearing. lord. Tl4 § 354; Ord, 1991 c. 4 § ii"


16-26.2 Unreasonable Noise-Making Automobile Safety Devices.

The use, maintenance, installation or keeping of any device whose
purpose it is to protect an owner's vehicle from damage and/or then
through the mechanical creation of a none of sufficient magnitude to be
plainly audible at a distance of two hundred (200') feet from such
device which does not automatically terminate any such noise within five
15) minutes shall be unlawful. Penalty for violation of thin section
shall be a fine of fifty ($50,00) dollars. This section shall be deemed a
Part of the Environment Protection Ordinances, so called, and shall be
enforced pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 40, Section 21D of the
General Laws.(Ord. 1984 c. 4; [354a])


16.26.3 Unreasonable Noise From Automobile Safety Devices.

The use of any device whose purpose it is to protect an owner's
vehicle from damage and/or then through the mechanical creation of a
none of sufficient magnitude to be plainly audible at a distance of two
hundred (200') feet from such device which does not automatically
terminate any such none within five (5) minutes shall be declared an
unlawful use of a noise making instrument. The penalty for violation of
this ordinance shall be fifty ($50,00) dollars and shall be in
compliance with the Provisions of chapter 40, Section 21D of the General
Laws. This section shall be deemed a part of the Environment Protection
Ordinances, so called.(Ord, 1984 c. 5 § 1 [354b])


16-26.4 Regulation of Construction Hours.

No erection, demolition, alteration, or repair of any building and
excavation in regard thereto, except between the hours of 7:00 am. and
6:00 p.m., on weekdays or except in the interest of public safety or
welfare, upon the issuance of and pursuant to a permit from the
commissioner, Inspectional Services Department, which permit may be
renewed far one or mom periods of not exceeding one week each.(Ord. 1984
c. 10 §1 (354c); Ord. 1991 c. 5 § 38)


16-26.5 Noise Levels at Residential Lot Lines.

It Shall be unlawful for any person except in emergencies by Public
Utility Companies to operate any construction device(s), including but
not limited to impact devices, on any construction site if the operation
of such device(s) emits noise, measured at the lot line of a
residential lot in excess of 50 dBa between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and
7:00 a.m. (Ord. 1985 c. 3 §1 (354d)


16-26.6 Disturbing the Peace.

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons in a residential area
within the city of Boston to disturb the Peace by causing or allowing
to be made any unreasonable or excessive noise, including but not
limited to such noise resulting from the operation of any radio,
phonograph or sound related producing device or instrument, or from the
Playing of any band or orchestra, or from the use of any device to
amplify the aforesaid noise, or from the making of excessive outcries,
exclamations, or loud singing or any. other excessive noise by a person
or group of Persons, or from the use of any device to amplify such noise
provided, however, that any performance, concert, establishment, band,
group or person who has received and maintains a valid license or permit
from any department, board or commission of the city of Boston
authorized to issue such license or permit shall be exempt from the
provisions of this section. Unreasonable or excessive noise shall be
defined as noise measured in excess of 50 dBa between the hours of 11:00
p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or in excess of 70 dBa at all other hours when
measured not closer than the lot line of a residential lot or from the
nearest affected dwelling unit. The term dBa shall mean the A-weighted
sound level in decibels, as measured by a general purpose sound level
meter complying with the provisions of the American National Standards
Institute, "Specifications for Sound Level Meters (ANSI SIR 19711"
properly calibrated, and operated an the "A" weighting network. Any
person aggrieved by such disturbance of the peace may complain to the
Police about such unreasonable or excessive noise. The police, in
response to each complaint, shall verify by use of the sound level meter
described herein that the noise complained of does exceed the limit
described herein and if so, may thereupon arrest and/or make application
in the appropriate court for issuance of a criminal complaint for
violation of M.G.L. c. 272, S. 53, which sets forth the penalties for
disturbing the peace.(Ord. 1986 c. 19 § 1, 2 (354e) Ord. 1991c, 4 § 2)


16-26.7 Prohibition Against Loud Amplification Devices in Motor
Vehicles.


It shall be unlawful for any person in any area of the city to
operate a loud amplification device or similar equipment, as defined in
subsection 16-26.1, in or on a motor vehicle which is either moving or
standing in a public way.(Ord. 1991 c. 4 § 3)


16-26.8 Prohibition Against Loud Amplification Devices in Public
Ways or Places.


It shall be unlawful for any person in any area of the City to
operate a loud amplification device or similar equipment, as defined in
subsection 16.26.1, in a public way or in any other public place. (Ord.
1991 c. 4 § 3)


16-26.9 Prohibition Against Loud Amplification Devices in or on
Residential Premises.


It shall be unlawful for any person in any area of the City to
operate a loud amplification device or similar equipment, as defined in
subsection 16-26.1, in a dwelling house or on the land or other premises
of such dwelling house. (Ord. 1991 c. 4 § 3)


***


I'd love to hear your opinions on the matter... 





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Replies to This Discussion

Anybody have anything to say? Agree? Disagree?
Personally I do not notice anymore and my house has very good sound proofing. I live in a neighbour hood that has a predominantly younger demographic on a street with drummers and music students whom from time to time decide to bang drums and to dance outside till the wee hours, I also mingle with different cultures that have differing attitudes to noise and the public sphere. I think of it as the price to be paid for living the lifestyle I do. I am 46 so age has not much to do with it. I did get irritated at someone claiming that the police pulling them over at 2am for driving through a street light showing amber while blasting loud music as a case of driving while black. It was more a case of driving while being an inconsiderate jack ass.
Having grown up "sportin" a thumping system in my car, I have to admit I personally like it. Especially on a hot day. For me it makes JP seems like a non stop fiesta.

On the other hand, I do realize that many people don't appreciate loud music too, and find "busting bass" particularly annoying.

This is a great question, and I'm glad you've posed it.

I'd like to hear what other people have to say.

Joseph
People who ride around with their loud bass-busting, earth-shattering, eardrum-bursting stereos blaring are annoying, inconsiderate boors. Everyone should have a right to listen to music in their cars but you shouldn't be forced to listen to someone ELSE'S music from 500 feet away! When these clowns drive down Cornwall Street with the speakers thumping, you can literally hear the pictures rattle on the walls. I'm truly amazed that the police seem to be OK with this, seeing as it has a definite impact on one's ability to hear the siren on an emergency vehicle. I'm sorry to say we will probably have to wait for a rolling boom-box to crash into a fire engine before anything gets done about the situation.
I wonder if this is really only an issue for some people, hence the lack of attention to it. I think due to where I live (Amory) AND work (Centre), I am particularly effected by it. I'm sitting at my desk on Centre Street right now, and there was just a booming stereo next door in line for the ATM. I had to step to the other side of the office to take a call. I have seen faint ripples on the water glass on my desk before.

I live across from Boston Electronics. This is a company that installs car stereos. The clientèle seem to be exclusively low-rider type cars with VERY loud stereos. This company came to the space without any public process. As neighbors, we fought them as much as possible, but the city steamrolled right over us. This would never go over say, Pondside. Or even in central JP. They routinely break sound ordinances. Inspectional Services say they will send out a measuring device, but they'll never get a reading because it's so intermittent.

I'm really frustrated that nothing can be done to tone down the noise.
Will have you called Tobin?
Not about car stereos in general - but he has been made aware of the ongoing issues with Boston Electronics. Good point though, he helped my neighbors when one of the adjoining homes was running a gas generator to power their electricity. OMG, that was the worst...I'll get in touch with his office again.

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