Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Noise of Leaf Blowers Infringes On My Freedom

Honestly, it's the noise of leaf blowers that bothers me more than their use fossil fuels. Now, at 2 p.m. on a warm and cloudy Saturday afternoon, one of only two days a week I don't spend in the office, a lawn crew with several leaf blowers is blowing the leaves off my neighbors' lawn, in anticipation no doubt of returning in a week, when more leaves have fallen. The noise penetrates the walls of my house. Outside the noise is a roar. The noise wears on me, makes me tense, makes me unhappy. It forces me to spend Saturday afternoon indoors. It is essentially an infringement on my freedom.

If it's true that "your freedom ends where my nose begins," why isn't equally true that your freedom to use noisy disruptive machines ends where my ears begin?



Blogger Sam said...

Many communities are considering leaf blower ordinances and a few such as Palo Alto have banned them. Most ordinances take the form of decibel readings (e.g., 80 bD from public property such as streets) or time of day restrictions (in certain German towns, no loud equipment on the weekends, 8-5 weekdays). This year, the outcry again leaf blowers seems to have reached a deafening crescendo!

Myself, I would like to see the commercial manufacturers and operators adopt the quieter engines (e.g., 65 dB at 50 feet), as well as time of day restrictions.

Just beware, there are some "rights" people who think it is there right to do all the noise pollution they want -- I guess it isn't in the Constitution or something. But nuisance law goes back to the Magna Carta, so there.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Schacht Marine said...

Last weekend I had to escape the "peace and quiet" of our suburban neighborhood because we had 3 leaf blowers going in the 3 yards surrounding us! The suburbs have become hell thanks to gas powered rotary tools. I swear modern "landscapers" wouldn't know how to do ANYTHING if it couldn't be done with a gas powered spinning thing.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Andersen said...

They are relentless and intolerable. Unfortunately they also seem to be inevitable. - ta

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree about infringing on my freedom to enjoy my lawn, my freedom to leave my windows open on a warm summer day, my freedom to listen music or watch tv. The gardener is sometimes around for up to 8 hours?!?!!? I've called the city of Fremont and they just blew me off. They have a number that you can call for a barking dog or loud music but noise from a blower,trimmer doesnt fall into the category of noise??? These machines do nothing but create noise and air pollution. If anyone out there has a way of getting the city to adopt laws regarding this issue I would LOVE to hear about it.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Zelda said...

As a gardener, I find the whole idea of blowing leaves or packing them into paper bags very foreign. All my leaves are collected and composted or used as mulch for my flowerbeds and garden.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's now 4:00 pm on Wednesday afternoon and the leafblowers have been on for two hours. The gardeners have been moving leaves on a plot of land that is well under a quater of an acre. These things are a blight on the suburbs, which once upon a time were quiet.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Tom Andersen said...

It's amazing how many people hate the things and yet very little is done about it. Rye, Yonkers and a couple of other places in Westchester ban them in summer, but that's about it.

7:01 AM  

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