I created Austin Noise .org to act as a center for discussion specific to noise in Austin. It’s a topic of discussion that is more relevant here than in most other cities due to our rapid expansion and identity as a premier live music location. Following articles and discussions about the noise ordinance, community noise, and the now-in-development comprehensive city plan I have noticed that few, if any, of the people involved have a good grasp of the basic concepts involved in creating and using noise regulations.
There is nothing shameful about not truly understanding what “decibel” means. Acoustics is a complicated science with a lot of similar sounding yet importantly different concepts. Hiring an acoustical consultant can be expensive because developing a good understanding of acoustics as it relates to communities takes years. And so the first and most important goal of this website is to attempt to provide informative, meaningful explanations of acoustical concepts and their relationship with the real world.
The second objective of this site is to generate good ideas that can be used in Austin noise regulation. Austin has a unique set of circumstances and, accordingly, deserves a unique noise ordinance and city plan. Rather than the patchwork set of misapplied limits and rules in our current ordinance, a new, meaningful, objective, and scientifically correct ordinance should be developed. A noise element should be added to the new city plan. I believe that Austin is a leader in community development and our approach to noise control should not be an exception.
So who am I? My day job is consulting in acoustics, noise, and vibration. My specialty is environmental noise. I’ve worked as an acoustical consultant in three states: Colorado, California, and Texas. Practicing in these states has exposed me to a variety of approaches to noise control in a fair and realistic way. Undoubtedly, some ways are better than others.
This site is not meant to solely serve as my soap box. My hope is to generate discussion and solicit honest review, questions, new ideas, and corrections from anyone who has interest in the Austin noise landscape. I will try to technically configure the site in a way that makes this as easy as possible.
So here we go… Austin Noise .org has begun.