FOLLOWUP: Councilmember Herbold announces new steps toward vehicle-noise crackdown on Alki (and elsewhere)

(SPD mobile precinct and Alki traffic, May 2017 WSB photo)

For almost two years, we’ve been chronicling a new focus on the chronic vehicle-noise issues in the Alki/Admiral area, and Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s work to address it. In her weekly update, she announced she’s introducing new legislation this week to help police crack down – and an SPD community meeting next Tuesday:

As a beachside neighborhood and a regional destination, the Alki neighborhood and nearby areas face unique public safety and health challenges, especially during the warm-weather months. Residents, community groups, and visitors from elsewhere have expressed concern about public safety, and the growing impact of motor vehicle-related noise issues.

During the last two warm weather seasons, I’ve asked SPD to add additional officers; SPD recently announced they’ll be doing enhanced patrols this summer as well. I thank them for doing this.

I’ve also been working with community members to address vehicle noise in the Alki neighborhood since last year, when together we developed the Alki Public Safety and Health Survey. The survey showed noise from modified vehicle exhaust systems as the #1 community concern.

On Monday I’ll be introducing legislation to address vehicle exhaust system noise in the Alki neighborhood.

The legislation, if passed, will simplify enforcement by allowing officers to issue citations for muffler and engine noise that “can be clearly heard by a person of normal hearing at a distance of 75 feet or more from the vehicle.” This is the standard used for the City’s motor vehicle stereo noise law (SMC 25.08.515 (A)(2), in effect since 1989.

The current City law that covers motor vehicle exhaust noise requires use of sound meters, which are time-consuming and require calibration, and are thus very difficult to use for enforcement. This was underscored as a problem by SPD in their report to Council re: enforcement of vehicle noise on Alki. While there are muffler laws on the books, they are specific to whether the muffler is modified, rather than the amount of noise being made, and since it is difficult to determine whether mufflers have been modified, are consequently also difficult for police officers to enforce.

The legislation will be heard at the June 13th meeting of the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans and Education Committee chaired by Councilmember González. This meeting starts at 9:30 a.m., with public comment at the beginning.

In addition to muffler noise, my office also closely examined City laws for motor vehicle stereo noise and screeching tire noise. Both rated high as community concerns in the survey.

Working with the City Attorney’s Office and SPD, we’ve been able to clarify that the current City motor vehicle noise laws for stereo noise and screeching tire noise can be enforced as written. My office also worked to clarify that noise meters are not needed to enforce these motor vehicle noise laws, and it is not required to have a complaint from someone separate from the officer. Some sections of the noise code do require meters, and a constituent complaint.

This legislation will apply citywide, on city streets. Although the legislation mentions “highways,” in the Seattle Municipal Code section for noise enforcement, this just means any City road.

Also, the SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster St) will be hosting a community meeting the evening of June 12th at 6:30 p.m. to hear Southwest Precinct Captain Pierre Davis’ plans to address noise and speeding in Alki. SPD has committed to emphasis patrols (i.e. extra officers) in Alki during the warm weather months. I thank them for their commitment, and for reaching out to Alki residents early in the warm weather season.

80 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Councilmember Herbold announces new steps toward vehicle-noise crackdown on Alki (and elsewhere)"

  • dsa June 9, 2018 (10:29 am)

    No need for a noise meter to enforce the code against offensive sounds from boom boxes either.

  • Really June 9, 2018 (10:31 am)

    what a waste of time to punish people for having loud exhausts. If there car meets emissons standards who cares. This council gets worse with every article. Also this will never be enforced also just another dumb law on the books

    • WSB June 9, 2018 (10:33 am)

      In this particular case, people clamored for it, and have been doing so for years. As for whether it will “never be enforced,” guess we’ll hear about that Tuesday night.

    • David June 9, 2018 (8:53 pm)

      Who cares? Well, I do.  I need to open my windows upstairs usually mid-June through August. The din of traffic is fine, but I’m often awoken by revving, unmuffled cars. We also have a noise sensitive 3 year old (not on the spectrum, we think) who has been known to sob when he hears loud cars when we are just walking around or neighborhood. 

    • Lynn June 10, 2018 (8:57 am)

      Who cares?  I DO!!If you live anywhere near Alki or Admiral, you would know the noise is a huge nuisance. It gets worse in the summer so much that is residence dread the warm months because we know what’s coming. I’m glad and looking forward to this being enforced. 

    • JanS June 10, 2018 (11:51 am)

      why do I think your vehicle is modified? Protesting too much? I live 1/2/ block from Admiral Way close to the Admiral Junction. When vehicles come up from Alki with modified exhausts, especially in the evenings and as late as 1am, headed out of West Seattle,. I can hear my apartment, with windows only partially open. Screw that…it’s too loud…if they come here, respect the neighborhood. What’s wrong with that? I can imagine how loud it is for those living right on the beach. Dumb law? maybe to you. Life is not a free for all.

    • MrAlki June 12, 2018 (6:36 am)

      @ REALLY>If there (sic) car meets emissons standards who cares<Clearly, you are NOT listening – survys show most people care, and they care a lot.Furthermore, noise IS a regulated emission AND there are emission standards in place for that pollution.  The problem it is hard to enforce.You probably do not care because you and your friends are making the noise and/or do not live in the neighborhood.

  • Fire Ball June 9, 2018 (10:57 am)

    Loud motorcycle exhaust can save lives.

    • Mike June 9, 2018 (12:00 pm)

      And make me deaf.  There’s a difference in loud and deafening.  Most of those fanboys of loud pipes save lives… rarely wear helmets that can save their lives in a crash, just buckets to hold their brain bits in a cup.  There is ZERO reason to have loud exhaust setups in neighborhood areas, zero.  I’d also add in muffling the blowoff valves on busses, that crap makes my ears ring.

      • Jeff June 9, 2018 (4:12 pm)

        Pretty sure that’s the air brakes you’re hearing.  The valve for the turbo recirculates back in the intake track and does not have a loud noise.  So yeah let’s quiet those brakes and make sure the bus doesn’t stop properly and quickly.

        • Mike June 9, 2018 (7:33 pm)

          Jake brakes are illegal to use in city.  So no, it’s not air brakes.  Blow off valves are loud, especially on large diesels. 

          • The King June 9, 2018 (9:13 pm)

            I’ve worked on buses for over 25 years now and this is an interesting conversation you all have going on here. I have no idea what any of you are talking about, but your theories are entertaining. 

          • Mike June 10, 2018 (12:49 am)

            Then you obviously know if you’ve ever been next to one.  Enlighten us on how it expresses high velocity air that is deafening.  Honestly, I’d love to learn more.

          • The King June 10, 2018 (9:35 pm)

            When the buses come to a stop the driver pulls the emergency brake, releasing air through a relay valve allowing the spring in the brake can to take over, the only other thing that is kinda loud is the air older system air dryer when it purged moisture from the system. As far as deafening….I must be used to it all since my hearing is out of warranty. The hydraulic fan for the radiator is pretty obnoxious also. 

    • Seattle June 11, 2018 (11:59 am)

      I know that is true. My former boyfriend and I saw cars switch lanes without bothering to look for other cars, much less a motorcycle. However, I live where the noise is mainly from cars with faulty exhaust systems. Summers are awful.

  • Chib June 9, 2018 (11:06 am)

    there is almost nothing more pathetic than some cheesy dude using noise pollution to attract attention…   I feel the same for City Council members patting themselves on the back for work they were elected to do…   Can’t wait to enjoy Alki sans noisy blowhards and can’t wait to vote Lisa  and the rest of the city council out of our local government starting next year…

    • JanS June 10, 2018 (11:54 am)

      CHIB..don’t like the way the city council is running things? When are you throwing your hat in the ring?

  • J June 9, 2018 (11:07 am)

    Big deal. Modified cars and motorcycles have scheduled meetups at alki for decades. You dont get the best public view in the city AND 24/7 peace and quiet. I dont like hearing high school stadium bands or noisy high school kids but I get over it because I chose to live by a high school. 

    • Jim June 9, 2018 (11:37 am)

      This move is a good thing.  People visiting Alki don’t want to listen to the obnoxious noise, either.   No, you don’t have the right to force your noise pollution onto others.

      • J June 9, 2018 (12:08 pm)

        There are plenty of other obnoxious noises on alki such as parents yelling at their toddlers, teens shrieking, city buses and utility trucks with noisy air brakes, salsa music. All of those can be as loud as the cars and motorcycles. 

        • West Seattle since 1979 June 9, 2018 (9:28 pm)

          I doubt there are very many buses on Alki. 

        • Lynn June 10, 2018 (9:07 am)

          Parents yelling at their toddlers…that noise doesn’t go all day long during the summer months and it cannot be heard in the 0.5 mile radius. It’s not just the Alki folks that have to deal with it, it’s the visitors to Alki and people living in Admiral who are forced to listen to it too. Marching band music I’m sure can get annoying at times but at least its music, the kids are practicing something and learning a new skill. I mean some of the vehicles that pass through rev their engines so loud it sets off car alarms…people are sick of it. 

    • Mike June 9, 2018 (12:03 pm)

      “Modified cars and motorcycles have scheduled meetups at alki for decades”  without permits, which is actually against the law.  So if you really want to go into that territory, I’ll start asking SPD to ticket and arrest those that don’t leave.

      • J June 9, 2018 (4:35 pm)

        And SPD will probably laugh at you because they have bigger priorities than some 18 year olds aftermarket civic exhaust system. Do you really think cops aren’t already aware of these meetups?  

        • Mike June 9, 2018 (7:41 pm)

          Do you really think anything will be done unless somebody calls it in?

      • mark47n June 10, 2018 (9:35 am)

        Permits aren’t required for groups to meet up in public spaces. Permits are necessary when commerce is going to take place, alcohol is going to be served, streets and/or sidewalks are going to be closed etc. I’m pretty sure that the right to freedom of association would be impacted by requiring permits simply to meet. Hell, I used to meet up with 20 or 30 bikers every weekend in parks for BBQ’s and the like with beer and we’d make a ruckus. No permits were required. Public spaces are public spaces. They can be loud, dingy, crowded and raucous. If you live along an area like this then you can expect it to be that way. If you don’t like that then you’ll have to find quieter, less vibrant places to live because it’s not going to get any better. This region is no longer suburban. It’s crowded and, in summer, is packed.As to loud bike exhaust. This is a matter of perspective, ladies and gentlemen. My bike is definitely louder than a Nissan Leaf and is deeper and rumbles more than the rice rockets out there. It’s not as loud as some of the straight pipe bikes or the slammed little Honda’s and Subaru’s out there with the coffee can exhaust. At the end of the day, what is too loud? 160dB? yes.  100dB perhaps at times but this would encompass emergency vehicles, construction noise, such as a jackhammer, and the like. 85dB is  the typical level of busy city traffic.So, decide what you’re willing to live with and act accordingly. If you require the volume of a country lane then you need to move. Imposing your desires onto others is a load of BS.

        • Jim June 10, 2018 (10:58 am)

          >>> If you require the volume of a country lane then you need to move. Imposing your desires onto others is a load of BS.<<<How can you not see the hypocrisy in that statement??

    • JanS June 10, 2018 (11:56 am)

      J..oh, good grief…the band as West Seattle High School practices at 2-3pm in the afternoon…can barely hear them…apples and oranges. Noise is OK…deafening noise from a half block away is stupid and ignorant..and, yes, as mentioned above cheesy and pathetic.  All sorts of things have been happening for decades that shouldn’t be.

  • BullS June 9, 2018 (11:13 am)

    “vote Lisa  and the rest of the city council out “opps typo error  city Clowncil…We need new people in the CC with fresh logical common sense ideas , someone from the business community and best of all..a  Republican!!

    • D Del Rio June 9, 2018 (12:46 pm)

      Never thought my liberal self would say it, but a few Republicans actually sound good on the city council right about now. Moderate ones of course! 

      • JVP June 9, 2018 (6:13 pm)

        @D Del Rio, I totally agree.  I’m a lib in the national sense, but I’d happily vote for (moderate!) Rs to balance things out around here and at least bring up the other side of issues to be considered.  That or some independent minded, practical thinking, small business owning, moderate Ds.  The ultra-left groupthink at council right now is frustrating. Sadly, being a moderate (aka a realist) or an independent with a stubborn streak isn’t in vogue right now, in either party.  My hopes aren’t high.

      • M June 9, 2018 (6:26 pm)

        I agree 100%

    • andy June 10, 2018 (6:06 am)

      Right on Bulls, I totally agree.

    • JanS June 10, 2018 (11:57 am)

      BULLS…you’re running , I take it?

  • Dan June 9, 2018 (11:23 am)

    Finally, target those illegal Harley Davidson riders…hate their noise!

  • Karen June 9, 2018 (11:31 am)

    I hope the motorcycle jerk that screams through and around the Junction after midnight gets a hefty fine.  He is going to hurt someone one of there nights.

    • Erithan June 9, 2018 (1:32 pm)

      Him and the idiots who blast their bass and circle(shakes my apartment makes my heart race, and can’t get away from that)

    • Lynn June 10, 2018 (9:09 am)

      Yes! Hes up here in Admiral too. Ugh I want to pelt him with apples. 

    • JanS June 10, 2018 (11:58 am)

      Karen…I hear him/them every night O_o

  • jm18 June 9, 2018 (11:43 am)

    Beach residents, who are mainly the ones complaining about it, are asking police to focus their efforts on noisy cars and bikes.  What next? Waves too loud at night? Too many kids making noise during low tide on starfish searches? At the risk of being snarky, c’mon. My neighbors and I live in the junction and hate the noise of semi trucks, too many people talking loudly at night, can I get that on a legislation?

    • ScubaFrog June 9, 2018 (7:15 pm)

      “Waves too loud at night”, this is the Puget Sound, JM18, not the Coast.  You don’t have the sound in the junction that Alki has in the Summer.  Thanksss.

    • JanS June 10, 2018 (11:59 am)

      oh, poor baby…go tell your neighbors to shut up, if talking too loud at 1am…you are being ridiculous, just a bit.

  • Seattlegov June 9, 2018 (11:50 am)

    Dear Lisa, Can you please add some extra patrols to help keep the murder rate down? Please and thank you.

  • MJ June 9, 2018 (12:06 pm)

    Alki has been a go too destination park for years.  Buying a property near the park is a choice, there will be noise, some of it obnoxious and illegal, but a lot of it just beach life.Do not buy a house by the beach and then expect quiet, its like buying a house next to a pig farm and then complaining about the smell.

    • Jim June 9, 2018 (4:17 pm)

      >>>there will be noise, some of it obnoxious and illegal,<<<Isn’t that the point of this?

  • gh June 9, 2018 (12:11 pm)

    Just another waste of time and resources to try and show you’re doing something for taxpayers for a change.  It won’t work…people are on to you.  There was once an amusement park at Alki…

    • JanS June 10, 2018 (12:01 pm)

      GH…and a whole helluva lot less people living there…it was a destination…your point?

  • KM June 9, 2018 (12:25 pm)

    I welcome increased patrols for the existing laws on our books, in addition to this one. Despite the announcement, I’m not hopeful our roads and pathways will become safer anytime soon without a massive effort.

  • PW June 9, 2018 (12:33 pm)

    Lets take it further south and ban loud cars off loading at the ferry, children laughing in the park that we can hear in the neighborhood across from Lincoln park. Baseball games that have loud noise.What does Lisa expect these cars to do when they leave  Alki along beach drive they will make even more noise thru those neighborhoods..Yes the car noise  is an issue on Alki going back to my high school days in the 70’s nothing has changed.Fix the issue, we need more patrols and the police van parked 24 x 7 on Alki until labor day.That is something worth paying extra for.

    • JanS June 10, 2018 (12:03 pm)

      you’re serious, aren’t you? Those things you mention are LEGAL ! And normal city noise…we get that. Illegally enhanced cars are just that…illegal and obnoxious…and, did we mention illegal?

  • West seattle native June 9, 2018 (12:33 pm)

    This is not just a waste of time, but of also resources. West Seattle is NOT an HOA and its ridiculous to try and turn it into one either. using a decibel meter is used to avoid unfair ticketing because with out a definitive number they are just guessing if it meets there criteria. So we better also be banning train horns and ferry horns while we are at. If you can hear them from the water, and downtown then they are louder then any car bike or music period. Where is the complaints about that.

    • WSB June 9, 2018 (12:44 pm)

      Many years of complaints about train horns.

    • Alex June 9, 2018 (1:24 pm)

      This is a great point. Enforcement used to require evidence, actual data, which is unbiased. Now it will be up to humans and their subjective perceptions to decide who should be fined. It’s not hard to imagine which “types” of people will receive the brunt of these citations from our famously-unbiased (/s) police force.Whats next, enforcement of speeding based on if a car *looks* fast? 

      • Danny June 9, 2018 (11:47 pm)

        Yeah, great point.  It’s like “I’m pretty sure I just saw that guy rob that woman, but my faulty human perceptions shouldn’t impact the situation.”  This isn’t a move toward some even more dystopian future—it sounds like sensible enforcement of “hey, that person is blasting shitty music from that motorcycle; let’s make him/her stop that nonsense.”How often are you seeing situations where “unbiased data” is what’s leading to the cessation of a crime?

  • Jim P. June 9, 2018 (12:34 pm)

    One is left to wonder if those complaining about having noise laws enforced aren’t the ones making the most noise with their kiddie car noisemaker exhausts, boom box cars and motorcycles that apparently do not come with mufflers of any sort.Or have never been awakened at 2:30 in the morning by someone roaring up and down the street repeatedly at incredible speed and volume.A person’s right to make all the noise they wish ends at the next person’s ear lobes. to paraphrase things a bit. If making your car or bike go “vroom vroom” at jet engine volume at every stop sign (assuming you bother to stop) and pause in traffic gives you thrills, go find someplace remote to indulge yourself.Idling your car at five thousand RPM every time you come to a halt is childish at best and driving around in low gear but flooring it so you can hear your engine roar in traffic is beyond childish.I should be curious to hear just where people who do these things feel their right to do so at the expense of other people’s peace of mind and quiet originates.There is a major and unbridgeable gap between inherent noise and deliberately making more noise then is needed simply because you wish to.It makes such people look no more mature than a toddler banging on pots and pans in the kitchen.

    • TheStig June 9, 2018 (12:56 pm)

      Can I hit 14.5k rpm’s on my bike or is that going to offend someone 75 get away? Seattle is a mismanaged city that could be great if they actually took the time to negotiate contracts that benefit the citizens, obeyed the laws of the state, and actually gave a damn about the citizens.

      • ScubaFrog June 9, 2018 (7:18 pm)

        If you have illegal exhaust, you WILL be ticketed.  It’s that simple (and it’s not cheap).I think it will do wonders for tax revenue, and keep some slimy  biker gangs out of Alki.Bigtime Win/Win.

  • D June 9, 2018 (3:14 pm)

    How about addressing the sirens blasting at 1am and other hours in the night?

    • Helpful June 9, 2018 (9:02 pm)

      Equating sirens/train horn noise to modified car exhaust is beyond daft. Sirens serve an important purpose- to warn people to move aside, an emergency vehicle is racing to aid! Otherwise- emergency vehicles would be delayed, or people would get squashed by them. Trains blast to warn anyone on the tracks- train is coming! Move or get squished!!How is any of that relevant to some bonehead who takes off their muffler, then races around to get attention?! It distresses other people. It’s not cool. Stop. 

    • JanS June 10, 2018 (12:08 pm)

      wow…just wow…the most stupid statement on here today…sirens? Really? Again…we’re talking about ILLEGAL things.  Again…WOW!

  • Danny June 9, 2018 (3:14 pm)

    These comments on how ridiculous Alki residents are for wanting to shut down cruising, sound systems, and modified cars are hilarious.  On sunny weekends, it’s like living in the infield of a nascar race while some crappy band tries to play on the main stage over the noise.I believe it’s ok that we want it cleaned up and turned down.  Way to go, Alki! I’m with you (as I live there)!

  • PigeonRidge Ben June 9, 2018 (3:19 pm)

    Someone is going to run for city office, council or mayor, on a platform of law and order and is going to win. There are some outspoken folks of a libertarian mind in this community but I think most folks are weary of others selfish behavior; speeding, off-leash pets, illegal parking, HOV lane violations, crossing of solid white lines to bypass traffic bottlenecks, gridlocking intersections, disregarding noise ordinances etc..

  • Ma June 9, 2018 (5:02 pm)

    Hold on, if your gonna do it to civics you might want to include Harleys , sport bikes and muscle cars right ? 

  • Chuck June 9, 2018 (5:21 pm)

    I wish they’d enforce this on SW Charlestown. It’s a favorite alternate arterial from Alki on warm nights.  We get people gunning it up and down  from 56th to 47th…and racing up the Charlestown hill with exhausts that rattle the adjacent homes.  More than annoying, it’s dangerous. 

  • ugh June 9, 2018 (7:16 pm)

    When beach season is over, we’d be happy for some noise tickets to be issued along 16th and on the south end of Delridge.  Nice neighborhoods aren’t the only ones that hate being kept up by stupid loud mufflers all night.

  • Rick June 9, 2018 (7:17 pm)

    I do remember a day when there was civility in this community.  I guess I’ve gotten that old.

  • Mike June 9, 2018 (7:44 pm)

    Break the law, pay the fine.  Cause a problem, reap the consequences.  Time to take back our neighborhood.  Don’t like it, go to Golden Gardens.

  • James Win June 9, 2018 (8:41 pm)

    It’s a damn shame this city is worried about a loud exhaust when children are stepping in human feces and on heroin needles.   I wish they’d spend their time cleaning up the real issues instead of focusing on some BS that really is a whiny complaint. 

  • Dick June 9, 2018 (8:56 pm)

    This should be good for local business on the strip. Matter fact great for the smaller ones.

  • Dude_on_Admiral June 10, 2018 (6:29 am)

    The noise from some of these cars and motorcycles that come out when the weather is nice is absolutely ridiculous.  I consider myself to be a fairly tolerant person, but the loudness and the suddenness of that noise from some of these vehicles has worn me down.  Sometimes a couple of cars or bikes will sit at a traffic light and rev their engines.  Or like a dozen of them will go racing down Admiral.  And the apartment windows rattle.  If you’re watching something on television or the computer, or having a conversation, the vehicle noise will drown out everything else.This time of year, I will be startled awake at 2am or so by modified cars and motorcycles at least once a week.  Not fun.If the owners of these vehicles won’t show consideration for their neighbors on their own, then let’s make their wallets a bit lighter.  THANK YOU, Councilmember Lisa Herbold!

  • BEB June 10, 2018 (7:25 am)

    We live nowhere near the beach, but we can hear the scream of loud motorcycles down on Alki late at night where we live, too—at least 1/2 mile away. This is not just unmuffled engine noise. It’s intentional, enhanced, and very likely can cause hearing damage to anyone exposed at close range for very long. Unreasonable noise has long been considered a public health hazard, and that’s why noise ordinances have been around for a long time. They need to be tightened/enforced in this particular area.

  • Alki resident June 10, 2018 (8:35 am)

    I’m an alki resident with a modified car and a sportbike which can be loud as hell if I let them, but don’t drive like an ass in my neighborhood and I think the noise is inane by visitors and motorists, the decibel meters aren’t going to solve anything, it’s the “burnouts people, loud stereo people, racing down the road people, and wheelie on your motorcycle people” that cause the noise and frankly safety risk, I think speedbumps should solve most of it and an extra police patrol or two should curb some of that “showing off” behavior. 

  • jm18 June 10, 2018 (12:57 pm)

    Really? Here are the facts since I’m guessing you don’t live in the junction. At all hours of the night we listen to semi trucks rumbling past our home, literally vibrating all of our windows. This is not a seasonal event. I just don’t expect something to be put on a legislation because I want everything and everyone to be perfect around me.

  • RollingEyes June 11, 2018 (7:29 am)

    This is a waste of taxpayers money. Not the fact that SPD should be enforcing a law, but the fact that Lisa is trying to pass more laws. There is already a few laws on the books about modified exhaust. The cops refuse to enforce that law. We don’t need more laws! RCW 46.37.537RCW 46.37.537.    Motorcycles—Exhaust system.No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motorcycle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the engine of such vehicle above that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the vehicle, and it shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motorcycle not equipped as required by this section, or which has been amplified as prohibited by this section.

    • Jim June 11, 2018 (9:01 am)

      Your reasoning is solid.  But you are missing a step.  SPD was asked to start enforcing the existing laws.  They came back with a letter saying the way the laws were worded made it too difficult for them to enforce.  Right or wrong, that was their position.So, that’s why the new laws are being written to help SPD enforce them effectively.

  • airwolf June 11, 2018 (12:46 pm)

    “The current City law that covers motor vehicle exhaust noise requires use of sound meters, which are time-consuming and require calibration”   Does anyone know why? how? Is technology really that outdated in this regard?  Also, this is an issue about enforcing the law, not whether it should be repealed, or ignored.  Noise pollution is a health concern as outlined by the World health Organization ( so this is a matter of preventing health issues for the residents of that area and improving their quality of life.  Noise is a type of pollution and it’s a health risk. Therefore it should be minimized wherever possible and especially in residential areas as Alki is.             

  • Matt June 12, 2018 (9:20 am)

    Excessive engine RPM is the source of the most intrusive noise, not mufflers. The enforcement focus is on the wrong issue. Yes, its a technical difference but its a behavior problem, not a ‘modified’ vehicle problem. Doesn’t matter what muffler in on a motorcycle, car or truck when the engine bounces of the redline . Let people cruise and enjoy the beach, but enforce the excessive display of speed and rev spiking. 

  • Jim June 12, 2018 (5:23 pm)

    >>>The legislation, if passed, will simplify enforcement by allowing officers to issue citations for muffler and engine noise that “can be clearly heard by a person of normal hearing at a distance of 75 feet or more from the vehicle.” <<<Matt, this does exactly what you want. 

  • Another Alki Family June 12, 2018 (8:48 pm)

    Such wishful thinking to think if any kind of noise restrictions will ever be informed. I WISH our police would step up and just make their presents known during peak busy hours.. As I sit her in my home on Alki hoping the crazy loud noisies won’t wake up my child who has school tomorrow. I shouldn’t have to learn to deal with this. No one, and no location should have any form of excuses to be disrespectful and disrupt people from having a peaceful home.From what I’ve learned is the police will just hide and do nothing, and that’s where the problem needs to start to fix the issues around here.

  • Ross June 28, 2018 (3:28 pm)

    Thread full of cry babies… Get over it, not like you live next to an active runway. Everyone knows Alki is a place people cruise during the summer/nice days, it ALWAYS has been. at one point it was a four lane road before it was narrowed for parking.  I live in the neighborhood and could care less about the noise. And yes, I’m probably one of the people you all are complaining about. My car is old enough to be emissions exempt, and I run it without catalytic converters and a glass pack. 

Sorry, comment time is over.