Council members move to draft French Quarter noise ordinance - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Council members move to draft French Quarter noise ordinance

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - For years, it's been a controversial issue. Noise levels in the French Quarter, specifically along Bourbon, became the focus of a City Council committee meeting Monday.

"We really want to see how we can start to handle this in bits and pieces and do this in a thoughtful manner," said Councilwoman Kristen Palmer.

In January the city hired David Woolworth, an acoustical engineer, to study the noise level on Bourbon Street.

"I think it just varies on the establishment, and sometimes the genre of music can affect the balance of the sound," Woolworth said. "The idea is that you can make it as loud as you want inside, but at the doorway, it can only be so high. There are ways to do that."

Woolworth said some venues may be advised to better soundproof their establishments. Meanwhile, he's also studying courtyard noise. He said in some cases, loud speakers are being used.

"I think people don't object to that as long as they're playing very low levels of music. That's something that needs to be resolved," he said.

Nathan Chapman represents a coalition of neighborhood organizations and also lives in the French Quarter.

"You can lock your doors even against crime most of the time, but noise comes into your house," Chapman said. "Many people have had to move from it. I've had to personally move from it. It's a legitimate problem in this city."

Council members said they want to move forward on drafting an ordinance in the next few days.

Woolworth agreed to work as quickly as possible to finish his study and said he'll meet with the council members soon to give specific suggestions.

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