Quiet victory: Garage bell hell silenced

Photo credit: Enric Cruz López

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

In an earlier post, readers were told about a lawsuit brought by a resident in a St. Petersburg condominium who was disturbed by the garage bell of a nearby garage that rang every time cars exited the parking facility. While one person initiated the lawsuit, others added their names to the lawsuit. Still, it was one individual, Fred Sherman, who initiated the lawsuit and spent thousands of dollars in legal fees. Sherman also spoke to his City Council representatives about the noise from the garage bell.

We now learn that workers have installed a new warning system at the garage and the “mechanical bell had gone silent.” Interestingly, the lawyer for the condo with the offensive bell stated that disabling the bell “had nothing to do’ with the lawsuit. He explained that it was a “routine upgrade.” Really? If it were simply a matter of an upgrade, why was the upgrade not considered earlier? Why was it necessary to get involved in a lawsuit?

I have written often that we know how to reduce noise in many situations–and this garage bell case illustrates that–but we simply lack the will to do so. While we may be pleased that the offensive garage bell was replaced with a quieter signal, we still have to be disturbed that one individual had to spend thousands of dollars to “silence the bell.”

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