My name is Robert Carillio, local contact for the national anti-noise pollution group Noise Free…and Noise Off. Regarding your new policy to have buses beep and honk at intersections, I would like to explain to you why this is an irresponsible and thoughtless decision on your behalf.
I want to state first and foremost that by state law---and contrary to the fact that pedestrians have been bullied into thinking that vehicular traffic owns the road with drivers often disregard for pedestrians----that it is the responsibility of vehicular traffic to watch out for pedestrians at crosswalks/intersections---and not solely the responsibility of the pedestrian to be on the constant watch for vehicular traffic as if they have no right to cross the road!
First of all, the unfortunate situation where a pedestrian was killed was NOT the fault of the pedestrian….it was the fault of the driver. Had the diver been more attentive and NOT talking on a cell phone, this would not have happened. I have witnessed several of your drivers operating their vehicles in a less than responsible way on the streets…and more so, a ‘bullying’ one.
Now comes your decision to ‘alert’ pedestrians of your presence at intersections by horn honking and the use of the beeping device. If there is one thing we do NOT need to add more of in the air-scape is NOISE. Cleveland, like many other cities already has their hands full of enough of the kinds of noise that contribute to people leaving their communities because of the audio assault excessive and unnecessary noise contributes to the community. I suggest you research the US Census Bureau’s statistics on some of the top reasons people flee any given community, be it rural or urban. You will find noise at the top. You will also find it amongst the top complains fielded by police departments.
Unnecessary noises such as illegally modified exhaust systems on cars, trucks, and motorcycles….audio equipment that violates noise ordinances, incessant and unnecessary and/or irresponsible uses of motorized lawn care equipment are the top three most complained about sources of noise to date---about which we at the noise pollution awareness movement---receive hundreds of emails on a monthly basis…from people crying out for help---Mostly because local law enforcement bodies are unaware of the ill-effects of noise on the body, mind, soul---And on the community, socially, environmentally, and economically.
Now we have RTA making this brilliant decision to add their fair share of noise to the mix. This decision could very well backfire because the beeping and horn honking startles drivers and pedestrians and could result in an accident. There is a big difference between alerting pedestrians/drivers---which should be alert from the overly loud noises of bus engines to begin with---and startling them to experience a sudden and frightening adrenaline surge. You really need to sit down and educate yourselves on just what a noise situation actually does to the body. Instead, we should be promoting a quieter world, where we can all be heard….and do not have to live life louder and louder over an ever increasing nosier world.
Lastly, noise pollution is REAL form pollution and it is time more people become informed about it to realize why this is so. For now, I invite you to educate yourselves by visiting our websites at www.noisefree.org and www.noiseoff.org Then, I suggest you pull the plug on this very irresponsible decision to make noise. In a city striving to be more environmentally sustainable, these are not the kinds of decisions that such an effort needs. Instead, try screening your drivers better…and answering or listening to complaints when they’re reported. Then, remove them from behind the wheel.