Urban Noise Task Force

As many members are aware, the City of Vancouver has carried out an exhaustive study on urban noise. Our Society was represented on the committee by Roy Silverson.

The results of this project are available in a publication entitled Report of the Urban Noise Task Force, a copy of which may be obtained in person or by mail from the City's Environmental Health Division, 1770 West 7th Ave., Vancouver, BC, V6J 4Y6, (604)736-2866. The report is also available online at: City of Vancouver.

With the intensity of urban noise estimated to be doubling every six years, the work of this task force forms a vital part of abatement efforts. It covers 46 categories, making 165 recommendations, with the aspiration that most would be implemented by the current year, 2000.

Of the residents responding to the survey conducted for this study, 25% city-wide say noise is frequently a problem, while this rises to a whopping 40% of West End residents. Clearly there is a demand for serious attention to this issue.

According to recent information from the City's Environmental Health Department, proposals regarding continued implementation will be presented to council this spring. Further information may be obtained from the City Clerk's Office, or from Councillors Lynne Kennedy and Gordon Price who sat on the Committee.

The City of Vancouver has re-paved a two block stretch of the heavily traveled Knight Street with noise-reducing pavement on a trial basis; this is located between 37th and 39th Avenues.


In January, 1999, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (GVTA) called for suggestions on improving the AirCare Program, listing noise in their advertisement as one of the pollutants that testing could usefully combat.

Director Roy Silverson, on behalf of the Right to Quiet Society, responded that noise from motorcycle exhaust systems and automobile "boom boxes" are significant contributors to noise pollution, and current legislation is largely ineffective against these problems due to their mobile nature.

Dubbing the proposed program "EarCare", he suggested that the controlled environment of an AirCare station would be an excellent venue to properly evaluate such vehicles. Only the addition of an ambient sound barrier and measurement equipment would be required.

To date there has been no response to these suggestions by the GVTA.

Technology now exists to construct a noise camera which would provide a photograph of excessively noisy vehicles in motion, similar to the principle of photo radar.

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2000

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