Oahu residents plead with lawmakers to combat noise

Photo credit: Jess Loiterton

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

While it may be difficult to think of beautiful Waikiki Beach, Hawaii as a place overwhelmed by noise intrusions, Chad Blair’s article lets you know otherwise. Blair does this by describing the loud sounds of motorcycles and boom boxes and the rowdy tourists attending late night bars and restaurants that make it difficult for residents like Mark Travis to enjoy his Waikiki neighborhood. Thus, Travis enthusiastically supports the bill that would “prohibit the issuance of cabaret licenses to businesses” in mixed-use districts in Waikiki.

As is true in so many other cities and towns, passing legislation dealing with noise issues pits businesses against residents. This, indeed, creates problems for local public officials. Travis and his associates will have to fight hard to get the legislation they need to live more comfortably in their homes. Will they be successful? With so many noise-control measures that have already been turned down by his state legislature, e. g. restriction on leaf blowers, fines for installing noisy mufflers, setting noise limits on helicopters, forbidding late night deliveries, setting up a task force within the Department of Health to study noise pollution, I was surprised to read that Blair believes the cabaret liquor license bill has a change of passing. Blair also believes that a bill asking helicopter tour operators to provide more information on their flights might have a chance of passing.

Noise complaints have indeed increased as stated by a former Honolulu state representative. Thus, one would hope that state representatives would be cognizant of this and further understand that noise is a health hazard. It is not unreasonable for Waikiki residents to advocate for an environment with fewer noise intrusions. Their health and well-being are at stake!

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