If you’re going to New Orleans, be sure to pack some earplugs in your bag

Mayor Landrieu and tourism leaders: We, the residents and property owners of New Orleans hear you loud and clear…at least we’re trying.
We’re ready for company but the cacophony is already building in the French Quarter from Superbowlers, Mardi Gras revelers, musicians, street performers and revelers!
Improved streets, working streetlights, the new streetcar lines and upgraded Convention Center: These long awaited improvements have finally made their way to New Orleans…because of the Super Bowl
So, thank you, Roger Goodell. Really. You did what federal aid after Katrina could not do: deliver.
Goodell might not actually hear many “thank you”s, however. And here’s the big reason: Noise.
Ask a cop to explain what it is like to work in such a noisy city. They should be easy to find.
Expect a pair of police manning each block from the Superdome and Champion’s Square, through the CBD and Warehouse district, and, of course, the French Quarter. 
In the rest of the city? Those oft-seen flashing blue lights conspicuously absent, as the stretched-too-thin police congregate to keep all evidence of NOLA’s bad rap under wraps.
Ironically, keeping secrets in this town is a bit easier now that we don’t have the local daily to report on criminal mishaps anymore, but that’s another story.
The irony in all of this is that even with the expected concentration of cops in the French Quarter, the out-of-towners, like Goodell, (and those of us that live here!) won’t necessarily be safer…because of the noise.
That’s right. Noise.
Officers will have a hell of a time responding to an ‘incident’ without being able to hear their radio. It’s already happened, been documented and even taken to court. Bars so loud on Bourbon Street police could not hear their own radios…radios on their shoulders…mere inches from their ears… 
Putting all the city’s police officers in one, concentrated location puts everyone outside that area at risk. But because the city has no money or monitors or training to enforce its own noise ordinance, truly everyone will be unsafe. 
Which is why you may want to bring a pair of earplugs as you pack your suitcase for New Orleans. At least your eardrums won’t suffer.
For more information on noise issues in New Orleans, visit: www.HearTheNOLAMusic.Org
To find out more about stepped-up security for the Super Bowl, check out: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/01/23/new-orleans-ups-security-braces-for-record-crowds-for-super-gras/
For common misconceptions about noise pollution and hearing, please read:  http://noisenola.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/common-misconceptions-about-hearing/#more-822
To learn more about the effect of noise on New Orleans policing, please check out: http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/02/new_orleans_civic_group_pushes.html
© Smith Stag, LLC 2013 – All Rights Reserved

Add comment

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

Follow Us

© Stuart H Smith, LLC
Share This