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Help neighborhoods? Try addressing engine noise …

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For 42 years, I have lived in the once-peaceful area of the Linda Vista development. Unfortunately in the last year, my neighborhood has become a victim to noise pollution created by amplified engines of cars and trucks or motorcycles with converted mufflers and exhaust systems. These altered vehicles are driven by indifferent individuals who wish to “share” their ear-shattering engine noise with everyone within100 yards or more.

There is a little-known secret, that car manufacturers are knowingly adding devices to car engines which deliberately amplify the engine noise. According to Popular Mechanics, many automobiles include noise-amplifying devices, like the Corvette’s valve system that “opens under full throttle and bypasses the muffler,” or the “noise pipes” of the Ford Mustang. In 2015 Ford engineers worked on a system that deliberately amplifies the engine’s noise through the car speakers. A motorcycle can be altered by removing the muffler and changing the exhaust systems with illegal ones that amplify the noise produced.

At one time, most of us were happy to buy cars or trucks that had a smooth ride with a quiet interior to block out unwelcome noises. A car idling produces 35-45 decibels of sound; a motorcycle is not allowed to produce more than 80 decibels of sound when idling, according to the EPA. However, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders states that the average motorcycle produces 95 decibels.

The decibel scale is logarithmic, meaning it increases by the power of 10 each time. Therefore, a noise at 100 decibels is about 8 times as loud as a human voice at 70 decibels.

Noise-induced hearing loss can occur by exposure to sudden, loud noises of 85 decibels or more. At louder levels, not only is the driver risking damage to his eardrums but the rest of us suffer from it like second-hand smoke.

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The exploding flatulence from these exhausts may be music to some ears, but the rest of us would rather hear the birds chirp.

Recently, the city has been discussing how to improve neighborhoods. Reducing vehicle noise should be seriously considered.

As I watch children playing and residents strolling the streets of this neighborhood, I cringe as I hear an approaching motorcycle rider come to the intersection, rev up his engine, and deafen all of us into silence.

Kim Fitzsimmons
Roswell