Groups Work to Reduce Noise

Activists in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont are asking police to enforce existing laws against loud motorcycles. “Motorcycles come out of the factory quiet,” Ted Rueter told the Valley Post. “People illegally modify them so they make more noise.” Rueter works for Noise Free America, a group with chapters in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont and a web site at

“The Census Bureau reports that noise is Americans' top complaint about their neighborhoods, and the major reason they wish to move,” he said. “Ninety percent of calls to New York City's quality of life hotline concern noise.”

In Europe, many downtown areas are pedestrian-only, which is quiet and better for the environment. Rueter said the Boston police department is one of the best in the nation at noise law enforcement. Boston has pedestrian-only streets in the area known as Downtown Crossing. Burlington, Vermont (population 42,000) has a four-block-long pedestrian-only street downtown, Church Street.

Another organization, the Noise Pollution Clearing House, is based in Montpelier, Vermont. Its web site is at Les Blomberg is the group's spokesperson. “Motorcycle noise laws should be enforced when motorcycle owners go to get their annual inspection sticker,” he said. “Unfortunately, that rarely happens. We're working to change that.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, people who have noisy jobs suffer two to three times more heart disease than people who work in quiet places. The same article said about 26 million Americans are partly or completely deaf due to noise. The article is at:

Peoples' life expectancy is reduced by noise, according to this NPR report:

Rueter's and Blomberg's groups work to reduce noise from leaf-blowers (raking is good exercise), lawnmowers (electric lawnmowers are silent), car alarms (they don't save your car or the things in it, according to, and other sources.


Violence on Wheels

I hiked up Wantastiquet with a friend today. We remarked how quiet it was, though we could still hear Brattleboro street noises even near the top. On the way back home, we crossed the Hinsdale bridge and a noisily-modified car drove past, extraordinarily loud from the muffler (or lack thereof). As I passed a man and a boy who had stopped in the middle of the bridge, I said to them as an aside: "violence on wheels".

Thank you for addressing this problem. Eventually common sense will prevail.


I completely agree.
One example:
Parks and gardens exist to be the lungs of towns and cities and to provide soothing moments in busy lives: the noise and fumes of lawnmowers and leaf-blowers have the opposite effects. Noise-levels and pollution from these machines should be regulated.

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