Letter to the Editor: Enforce Noise Ordinance
An Upper St. Clair visitor to downtown Pittsburgh implores the city's mayor to crack down on high-decibel car stereos.
To the Editor:
Surely many readers of Patch traverse the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh as residents, workers, shoppers, and diners, and this group of people no doubt has an interest in that community being the best that it can be. I am a member of that group, having worked Downtown for twenty-three of my 28 years of service to my employer.
Certainly Mayor Luke Ravenstahl would purport to be a great booster of Downtown Pittsburgh living and its quality of life. Why, then, has he failed to direct the Pittsburgh Police to begin enforcing the noise ordinance?
Anyone who walks or drives through Downtown Pittsburgh, particularly during a spring or summer day, knows that there are a number of motor vehicle operator hoodlums that believe that they are the center of the universe, that they have the right to inflict their often profanity-filled "music" on the public at ear-splitting levels, a noise volume loud enough to shake windows.
I recently encountered an incident Downtown in which a vehicle that was unoccupied for several minutes had the stereo blaring, able to be heard a block away, shattering an otherwise calm day. Is this an environment that is sought and is acceptable to those who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on Downtown housing units? Is it conducive to raising a family Downtown, or even walking one's dog there? Not for me; I would not live Downtown even if housing were provided to me at no cost, and the "stereo blasters" provide another reason to retreat to peaceful, serene suburban living as soon as my Downtown workday is over.
New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani achieved great success in reinstituting civilization in New York City by adopting the "broken windows" theory, cracking down on minor crimes such as vandalism and subway turnstile-jumping to avoid paying fares, sending the message to those with a proclivity to break the law that their actions would not be tolerated and would be nipped in the bud. It is commonly believed to have worked, and is most evident in the dramatic reduction in the number of homicides which has continued to this day.
The New York City Police have also been successful in utilizing, over the strenuous objections of the American Civil Liberties Union, a "stop and frisk" policy, in which individuals deemed to be suspicious, may be scrutinized. An impressive 630,000 such stops were made in New York City in 2011. I am happy to allow the potential for this minor inconvenience in order to enjoy a greater chance of our streets being safe.
We suffer many fools in our daily living. There is no valid reason that we must endure those fools who seek to destroy our quality of life in violation of the law. Display a modicum of respect for your fellowman and woman; turn down the blasted stereo, and know that a citation and hefty fine can be imposed if you do not comply!
When will the law be enforced, Mr. Mayor? What are you afraid of?
Upper St. Clair