Vancouver Noise Pollution

Hans has also recently written to the new Vancouver City Council regarding several troubling noise and air pollution issues. They can be contacted at: Mayor and Council, Vancouver City Hall, 453 W. 12th Ave., Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4

Dear Mayor Campbell and Councillors,

I want to urge you to ask the Molson Indy organizers and the Minister of National Defence to cancel the F-18 jet fly-past at the Indy race. As if there weren't already enough noise from the race cars (I hear it at Jericho through shut windows!), there is absolutely no need for that added frightful racket of those jets. Their noise is not confined to just the race track. It spreads over large parts of Vancouver and other suburbs. Even the Indy race, terribly noisy as it is, should never have been allowed to be held in the heart of the city from where the sound ideally propagates up the slope to the south of False Creek and is imposed on many people.

Similarly, considerable noise pollution emanates from the yearly fireworks in English Bay. Former noise inspector Brian Johnston told us that the sound levels often reached 120 decibels! Moreover, I personally observed one year from Jericho how the smoke from the fireworks was slowly carried west by the evening breeze to eventually form a continuous cloud covering all of West Vancouver, likely wrapping around Horseshoe Bay and beyond. We don't think that such pollution should be accepted for mere entertainment, regardless of what revenues this event may generate.

In Ms. Honey's report to Council there is also mention of the Pride Parade. Last year, during that event the amplified sound was so loud that it was rather intrusive and annoying several kilometres away at the south-west side of English Bay. We request that Council require the organizers of this AND any other event where amplifiers are used, to not turn up the sound level to more than 85 dB, and have that checked by a noise inspector. Please, be aware that with each increase of 3 dB the sound intensity doubles!! Should you wish to learn more about sound, we would gladly provide you with a copy of our handbook "What You Can Do About Noise In BC", of which we donated one to all BC public libraries in 1998.

Numerous studies demonstrate how detrimental noise of all sorts can be. Thus, all the more effort should be made to possibly prevent or at least abate all noise. I would like to take this opportunity to remind Council of the Urban Noise Task Force's 165 recommendations (1997), most of which still have not been implemented.

Thank you in advance for your kind consideration.

Annual General Meeting - October 23, 2002

The meeting was called to order at 7:50 p.m. by president Hans Schmid. In spite of dense fog 20 people attended. The minutes of last year's AGM were published in our Spring 2002 newsletter. A copy of our financial statement was circulated for our members' information.

Hans gave a short overview of the society's activities over the course of the year. One achieved success was only short-lived. A ban of gas-powered leaf-blowers to go into effect in Vancouver in 2004 was rescinded March 5, 2002, due to pressure from the gardening industry and the Park Board. The only appreciable restriction now is no use of those leaf-blowers on Sundays (within the city of Vancouver). On the requirement of the use of "quiet" leaf-blowers (maximum of 65 dBA) a decision still has to be made. We need to thank vice-president Roy Silverson for his dedicated work on this issue.

Noise issues make it into the media more often now. Hans was interviewed on October 10 by Rick Clough, host of CBC Radio 1 local programme "The Early Edition", and a few days later by Shelagh Rogers, host of the new CBC Radio 1 national programme "Sounds Like Canada". The Province (newspaper) columnist Peter Clough interviewed Hans for a series of articles on neighbour-to-neighbour feuds, many of which are caused by noise. These articles were published in early September, also featuring our new member Laura Arpiainen. In the September/October issue of the Natural Life magazine (Niagara Falls, New York) our organisation and website were listed as an information source in an article about damaging noise.

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2003

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