Janet Gross: Urges an updated noise ordinance for Northampton

Published: 5/12/2021 7:08:06 PM

As reported in the May 7 Gazette and based upon objections of residents living in close proximity to the city’s proposed kennel, Mayor David Narkewicz has withdrawn the proposal, much to neighbors’ relief.

Research has long shown that noise pollution goes well beyond annoying and has the potential to compromise human health by causing hearing loss and anxiety as well as leading to diabetes, heart disease and, as mentioned by Dr. Vatrenko, suicide. Noise pollution also negatively impacts wildlife.

Northampton’s current round of infill encourages the development of closer residential housing units as well as greater proximity of housing and commercial entities. Now more than ever an up-to-date and strictly enforced noise ordinance is essential for residents’ well-being.

The beeping of commercial snow equipment at all hours of winter nights, small airplanes circling overhead as the weather warms, the loud roar of multiple 90 decibel, gas-driven blowers, heavy gas-driven mowers that roar, whine and vibrate for hours, the unpleasant sounds of generators, compressors that huff and whine day and night as thermometers approach 60 degrees and beyond — all contribute to an unhealthy and unlivable environment.

Progressive cities are increasingly enacting ordinances that call for alternatives and other means of quieting noise — Burlington, Vermont, the most recent to make national news. It is time for Northampton to join them.

Janet Gross


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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