Will a new standard for excessive vehicle noise – distance instead of decibels – eventually lead to more police enforcement and a quieter Alki (and elsewhere)? The changes proposed by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who explained them at length earlier this month – won final council approval this afternoon. Discussion and voting started 35 minutes into today’s Full Council meeting:
You can find the full legislation here, along with one approved amendment – sponsored by citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, asking for quarterly reports on how the law is being implemented, so they could track any concerns or “unintended consequences.” That passed unanimously; the bill itself had one “no” vote, Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who expressed concerns that the change to a subjective enforcement standard could take an unintended toll on people driving noisy old cars, for example, because that’s all they can afford, though she said she agrees that people have a “right to peace and quiet.” So how long until this facilitates enforcement? Herbold said SPD had committed to a “robust” outreach/information campaign before starting. If you have questions, your next chance to ask police will be at tomorrow (Tuesday) night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).