*In regards to the story on Cedar Park tightening up on noise restrictions*
First off, I just want to make it clear that I am not defending the Lone Star Grille and their level of noise. I live in the Blockhouse Creek neighborhood, and the music coming from Lone Star Grille can be quite annoying, especially late in the evening. However, I find it somewhat hypocritical that the members of the Cedar Park City Council are disturbed by “noise” being generated by Lone Star Grille, while they continue to encourage traffic, development and construction in our community that often exceeds sound levels of 85 decibels (Heavy traffic and noisy restaurants can produce measurements of 85 decibels. Sound levels in excess of 85 decibels can cause hearing loss…And if you have to raise your voice to be heard, you may be in an environment with a dangerous level of noise) I have lived out here for almost 30 years, and the noise level has been increasing steadily, and in an insidious way, especially in the past 10 years. There is now a constant roar of traffic out here almost 24 hours a day. I no longer live in a quiet neighborhood, but what is even more disturbing is how most people begin to get used to it, not realizing how it may be affecting their quality of life. The roar of traffic and other noises that are considered the norm for urban living appear to be an acceptable price that we pay for “growth and prosperity.” It reminds me of the proverbial frog sitting in the pot of water, slowly being heated to a boil, oblivious to what is happening to himself.
In 2011, the World Health Organization published “The Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise.” Besides the possibility of hearing loss, noise in the environment can affect the cardiovascular system, cause high blood pressure, affect the cognitive development in children and cause sleep disturbances. Excessive noise also affects mood and the sense of well-being. These are all public health concerns for those of us living in such an environment, day after day, year
So, maybe the City of Cedar Park would do well to do further studies regarding noise in the community, beginning with large construction sites and measuring levels along major thoroughfares as well. “Noise” may not be obvious, but it is certainly doing a number on us, whether we are aware of it or not, and recognizing the problem is the first step towards coming up with solutions that can only benefit our entire community.