Start with the noise in Mount Oliver


September 15, 2009

If the Hilltop communities truly want vitality, we must be bold and serious and luminous in our effort to raise quality of life.

A perfect, ambitious example is to make the Mount Oliver commercial district of Brownsville road a pedestrian only shopping street one day a week; every Saturday or Sunday. Traffic can be diverted. A key to wholesome revitalization is discouraging the dominance of intimidating vehicles, and encouraging safe pedestrian traffic (with no loud P. A. systems). This will attract good attention, and shock many Americans with its humanity.

A second idea is for the sake of cleanliness and environmental responsibility. Local businesses should be prompted to quit using plastic bags, in favor of re-usable cloth ones; local restaurants to do away with disposable utensils or containers, in favor of real ones. This will prevent litter, and could attract artists or businesses who make or sell textiles or pottery, to supply our needs in a much better, sustainable and profitable way.

Two simple ideas like these would already skyrocket us past whatever anybody else in the region is doing. Not mindless slogans on some banners decorating our lamp posts. "The Peak of Hometown Living." Worthless. Absolutely worthless, Charlie Brown.

And if we care about restoring our communities, we will concern ourselves with perhaps the greatest quality of life issue, and the most ashamedly ignored: noise pollution. Get boom cars off our streets.

You want to be a great place to live? You want a safe, clean image? Get boom cars off our streets.

Along with any other violent, illegally un-muffled vehicles. If we want to be great, this will be our mission. If not, we remain depressed. People move away because of noise. It's the number one complaint. They flee.

And such noise is a physical assault. It attacks us in our own homes. A supreme violation. I can ignore a piece of litter or a drug deal, but the noise abusers break through our walls like a tyrant. We have a right to peace and quiet in our own homes.

Enforce this with zero tolerance, and property values, our lives, will rise. (An unmarked patrol car can wait at an intersection, etc.) We have the federal Noise Control Act of 1972 which allows any subdivision like a borough to act on its authority, superseding the state.

Make an ordinance that can impound and destroy offending cars and stereos. Pray for the offenders. Lord, please

imbue our hearts with holy peace and wisdom and gentleness...

Third idea: sponsor through local hardware stores community distribution of reel lawn mowers. Create a holiday of it. We will be the quieter neighborhood that ditches noisy, polluting gas mowers.

Noise is killing us. Abate the noise, bring peace back to our streets, and it will go a long way to bringing people and business and vitality back to our community.

Jason Kottler



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