In an article entitled “Complaints about noise on the rise in Vancouver,” the Vancouver Sun today (13-July-2016) reported on new statistics indicating that “peace and quiet can be a disappearing commodity in some Vancouver neighbourhoods.” CKNW provides addition detail, with graphs and an audio report. Below are some excerpts, with links, plus references for more reading, and action.
Noise affects quality of life, and health. There are tradeoffs between those benefits, and other activities in the city like construction, traffic, and bar/restaurant patios. A well-informed and active citizenry can do a lot to push things in the right direction.
From Vancouver Sun:
- Data from Vancouver’s 311 call service reveals 2,148 noise complaints were received in 2015, almost double those received four years earlier. More than half originated in just five of the city’s 22 neighbourhoods, led by 421 complaints from the Yaletown and downtown area and 264 in the West End. Other noisy neighbourhoods include Mount Pleasant, Kitsilano and Grandview-Woodland, with more than 100 noise complaints in 2015, while Oakridge, South Cambie and Arbutus rank as the quietest areas, with 30 complaints or fewer.
- Chief licensing inspector Andreea Toma says higher volumes are tolerated in busier neighbourhoods such as the downtown core, but she says noise bylaws apply everywhere and carry fines of up to $500.
- The City is looking into creating a nuisance bylaw … with the ability to put a charge onto the property owner because they keep becoming a nuisance to the neighbourhood. The City might also consider adjust acceptable noise limits in various neighbourhoods to reflect increasing densification.
- Noisy nightlife, after-hours construction and loud mechanical equipment, such as air conditioners, top the list of complaints.
Noise city: Vancouver’s noisiest neighbourhoods
News Talk 980 CKNW (Simon Little), July 12, 2016
Contains interactive graphs and maps, information about regulations, and comments from Hans Schmid, president of the Right to Quiet society.
Excerpt: Schmid has been fighting noise in the city for more than three decades, during which he estimates he’s filed more than 300 noise complaints. “The noise is getting worse. For one thing, the population continues to grow, and consideration in humans is decreasing and the combination of these two factors makes for more and more noise every year.” Schmid says a little peace and quiet is psychologically important to people as humans, a fact he says is being lost as the city drowns in the sounds of motorbikes, amplified buskers, aircraft, and construction… what he likens to an “acoustic mess.” … Schmid says he’d like to see more enforcement… But before that, education about the value of quiet and the effects of noise on people.
REFERENCES ON NOISE
Demolition and construction: Neighbourhood impacts, the Vancouver Building Bylaw, recycling
(CityHallWatch compilation of the rules and what to do to take action if you are affected by construction noise.)
Live Music and Development: A Double Standard of Noise Pollution in Vancouver
A very interesting article with lots of references. (By Bill Young, August 1, 2013)
The Right-to-Quiet Movement…
Excerpt: A good place to find information on noise is the Right to Quiet Society Web site. Other anti-noise pollution organizations include the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, and the League for the Hard of Hearing.
Right to Quiet Society – making some noise
Hans Schmid, president of the Right to Quiet Society, speaks to the consequences of excessive noise and what could be done about it. (Article in The Province)