Editor’s note: The following editorial from Nov. 3, 1953, does not necessarily reflect the views of The Bulletin’s editorial board today.
Noise control through licensing
Bend city ordinances, admirable in the main both as to their scope and as to their relative lack of obsolete provisions, nevertheless offer some opportunities for improvement. One of these that we are frequently reminded of is in the fact that there is as yet no local law for the control of sound cars. We believe there should be.
Under a licensing system city supervision would be possible and supervision, it seems to us, is desirable both for traffic improvement and for noise reduction. The first is perhaps the more important.
Primary function of streets is to move traffic. One of the results of the operation of the sound-equipped vehicle is to delay traffic. To do its job of street broadcasting, to make sure that involuntary listeners get the entire message instead of a fragment of it, the car must move slowly. The tempo of general vehicular progress is distributed accordingly.
Noise is a problem that increases with city growth and activity. It cannot be eliminated but some of its components can be eliminated or diminished in importance. Here again, sound car control takes a hand.
Ordinarily we think of such things in relation to metropolitan centers but they are present in smaller communities and gradually develop as these communities develop. It is better to recognize them from the start than to wait until the difficulties they have brought about become intolerable.
In a number of Oregon cities license ordinances of the kind that could apply here have been in effect for some years. Adaptation of one of them to suit local conditions should be a simple matter.