Monday, May 23, 2011

Noise & Light Pollution

Noise and light pollution are becoming bigger issues as more of our community urbanizes.

Is noise and light pollution an environmental issue that should be further addressed within the Legacy Update?

If so, what policies or regulations should be implemented to better address these two issues?

Give us your thoughts -- click "comments" below:


Janet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janet said...

Noise and light pollution can be disruptive to our natural eco-systems -- plant, wildlife and human. New policies and regulation should address these growing issues while recognizing the importance of a safe and secure community.

Adam said...

Thank you for offering the opportunity for citizen feedback on these many important issues. I feel strongly about the subject of light pollution in general and poorly-designed outdoor lighting in particular. My objections to it are addressed in the following discussion:

Light pollution is an especially undesirable artifact of modern civilization since it degrades the environment in two ways. First, it pollutes the night sky directly with unshielded and poorly designed lamps, allowing light to escape upwards where it does no good. Secondly, the extra electricity required to power overdone and wasteful lighting generates more toxic air emissions from the power plants. And we could also add a third negative factor, which is the increase in electricity costs to the user.

Excessive and wasteful lighting rob people of the vista of the dark night sky, a sight which sadly, few actually witness anymore. Outdoor lighting continues to be surprisingly poorly designed and planned even these days, with much duplication, and using lamps that do not direct light to where it is needed (onto the ground). Many fixtures are still the old “omni-directional” type that actually direct light out to the side and even straight up into the air, where it does no good. Well shielded directional lamps are manufactured, but are not widely in use. A directional lamp can put 50% more light onto the ground, where it is needed, than an unshielded unit. Therefore, fewer lamps are required to provide the same coverage.

Until the big users of outdoor lighting (municipalities) really begin to think about and address these matters, we will continue to light up the night extravagantly with diminished beneficial effects to those on the ground. The proper placement and direction of outdoor lighting is an area where municipalities can save significant money, but they seldom seem to study the problem. Because oddly, they don’t see overly-done lighting as a waste of either electricity or money. Which it is in both cases. A few cities have looked into turning off some existing lighting as a money-saving initiative with good results. But the real solution is the intelligent and efficient use of lighting in the first place.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Engineercharlie said...


Re: Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is an environmental issue that should be addressed within the Legacy Update.

Annoyance, speech interference, and sleep interference are some of the problems associated with community noise. Community noise sources include surface and air transportation, construction, industry, pets, and folks who are inconsiderate of others.

Enforcement of current policies and regulations should be prompt and effective. Examples of enforcement issues include loud parties and barking dogs that cause distress to neighbors.

In addition, regulations based on US Environmental Protection Agency identified day-night sound levels should be considered. This might require acquisition of instrumentation and training of personnel.

Anonymous said...

Only 4 comments show up? Want happened to all the others that were here?

Legacy 2030 said...

There are more Noise & Light Pollution Comments in another post:

Anonymous said...

We, no doubt, waste much light energy into the sky. Energy-saving street lights, which direct light downwards, are a wise investment. Having grown up in a rural area and able to enjoy a wonderful night sky, in W/S we miss a valuable educational opportunity by not being able to see the stars. If we could limit light pollution, we would gain a sense of the wonder and vastness of the universe. It's a part of our world, with which we need to be in touch.

Anonymous said...

Noise pollution undermines quality of life, in that it increases stress level. Much of our noise comes from motorized vehicles. We need to find ways to calm traffic in neighborhoods and ways to counter the constant drone of the interstate highways which run through W/S. Most people need a sense of community, living in a walkable neighborhood, for example, but we also need a reasonable degree of peace and quiet. While many folks enjoy loud motorcycles, they are a major noise polluter.

JRL said...

Yes, light pollution is very bad and very unsightly. Bright white and blue lights should be eliminated as should lights that spew light over extended areas. Lighting should be kept on the property being lit. Let us see the night sky.