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Intrusive music and noise

How peaceful is your working environment? My town centre workshop
had been peaceful for most of the 26 years I’d been there.
Unfortunately, recent years has seen a growing trend where shops
and stores play loud music during business hours to drum up trade,
often to the detriment of those trading around them.

Recently, I won a three year noise pollution battle against a fashion
store and was enjoying the satisfaction it gave me. Unfortunatly
this was short lived, as today a multiple store opposite has placed
speakers outside their store entrance and are playing loud music
into the town centre which continued all day long. A telephone call
to the store manager was met with the comment “the speakers are on
our property and they are there for advertising” I was hoping for a
more sympathetic response from the “Woolworths manager” but should
have known better from past experiences. I have no idea if this is to
be a permanent fixture, but I’m already aware of the effects it will
have on me. Modern trading methods have robbed me of the once
peaceful workshop I enjoyed. I do miss it and wantit back.

Alan Lewis


I can gladly say that I have the best of both worlds. Metalwerx is
situated on a quiet side street in a mixed residential and
commercial area. Half way up the street on one side are single story
commercial buildings. The remainder are all houses. It is blissfully
quiet and in the summer has large shade trees lining the street.

Next to my townhouse is a stone cutting warehouse for granite and
marble counters and bathrooms. They have superb sound insulation and
as a side perk, have an endless supply of lapidary rough which we
have nicknamed “counterite”.

When Metalwerx was in Woburn, our building was adjacent to the
parking lot and cars whose sound system were boosted to about 500
decibels, would park underneath our window. It was so loud, and the
bass so boomy, that my files would literally jump around on my bench.
One call to the police took care of it.

There must be other store owners who dislike the noise as much as
you do. Possibly a letter to the mayor is in order?

Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio

    How peaceful is your working environment? 

Hi Alan;

In the immortal words of Ex-Prez Bill, “I feel your pain.” Once the
summer gets here in Cortland, NY, the Harley’s come out of their
garages. Downtown has a corridor of tall buildings, and the machos
like to roar down the corridor just to hear themselves and reassure
themselves of their manhood by making loud noises. It’s pretty much
a constant annoyance. Also, there’s a little store downstairs that
sells beer, cigs and lottery tickets. The kids pull up in their cars
with those special speaker that turn the very surrounding buildings
into bass speakers, shaking the ground with sub-sonic vibrations. In
the fall, the college students take over, spilling out of the bars at
all hours, whooping and hollering. The police are completely
indifferent to it all. I’ve thought of perching on the roof, dressed
in camo, with a paintball gun, but if I wait, the impulse passes.

David L. Huffman


Have you consulted with your township’s zoning board about noise
issues? Some communities have ordinances that can be brought into
play to help regulate nuisances such as the speakers blaring outward.
While those ordinances MAY not completely shut off the noise, it may
help by regulating the hours, the volume, and the direction of the

The store owner’s assertion that the speakers are on their property
doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want, if the output of the
speakers is pointed outside their property and invading the public

Failing that, how about gathering a coalition of the other merchants
who had established the “flavor” of the town centre as a quiet place
conducive to buying. Work together with them to create a campaign of
pressure that may be public or private, designed to help the invading
merchant understand that s/he is destroying the very purchasing
climate that attracted them to open in that space. Let them know it
won’t be tolerated and that you will all help educate customers in a
boycott (if it gets that far) of their store in order to preserve
their town’s character.

It’s worked before, in other towns. People are beginning to come to
their senses and realize that there are spaces for aggressive,
brightly lit, garish retail emporiums, but that those spaces aren’t
necessarily in their traditional town centers. They are beginning to
value the town center, with independent merchants, galleries, and
shops as a different experience that should be preserved as well.
Hopefully, you’ll find this to be the case in your town, too.

Karen Goeller