|City Noise Task Force Report|
[Previous Page] [Contents] [Next Page]
2. Executive SummaryCity Noise is the product of the efforts of a group of citizens brought together by Vancouver City Council in March 1996 to form the Urban Noise Task Force. A total of 13 meetings of the entire committee plus additional meetings of subcommittees were held between March and July, resulting in the release of an Interim Report at the end of July. During the summer, public input was gathered through a contracted telephone survey of 1,000 citizens. Public input was also obtained via letters, e-mail and telephone calls from more than 250 individuals and groups, including both Vancouver-based groups and organizations from outside Vancouver. Two public meetings were held at Robson Square on October 9th. In addition to public input, information was also obtained from invited presenters at the meetings of the Task Force (see Appendix I for list). During late 1996, an additional five meetings of the Task Force resulted in the production of this Final Report.
The report identifies 46 categories of noise, suggests general approaches for dealing with urban noise issues and offers 165 recommendations for improving Vancouver's soundscape.
The intent of this report is to provide recommendations for a strategic plan to address noise issues into the 21st century.
- The Task Force views public education at all levels as a priority action. It offers recommendations for improving communications and awareness of soundscape issues.
- Traffic noise is a prominent issue in this report. The Task Force has generated suggestions for abatement procedures lying within the City's power to enact. Close cooperation with other government agencies will be required to achieve progress with respect to improved noise standards and controls.
- Aircraft noises, both at Vancouver International Airport and at Coal Harbour, are identified as areas of concern and remedies are proposed.
- Communications via backup signals, auto horns, sirens and car alarms are addressed and recommendations are made.
- Recreational and entertainment-related noises, from "boom cars" to buskers, from ice cream vendors' chimes to cabarets, intrude on our soundscape on a regular basis. The Task Force endorses initiatives taken by the City with respect to these noises and offers additional recommendations.
- Neighbourhood noises, such as barking dogs and noisy parties, are often problematic to deal with due to the one-on-one nature of the complaints. The Task Force makes suggestions for a complaint system to deal with barking dogs.
- The Task Force recommends tougher controls on owners and occupants of "party houses."
- Residential maintenance equipment noise received much attention from the Task Force. Recommendations are made about governing the use of gasoline-powered gardening equipment and the use of leaf blowers.
- The Task Force recommends streamlining the process of prosecuting excessive construction noise and increasing fines applied against repeat offenders.
- Addressing concerns about industrial and machinery noise, the Task Force notes that many equipment manufacturers have developed "quiet models" in order to compete in European markets. It recommends that the City show leadership by limiting purchases of equipment to quieter models.
Figure 1: Most significant noise sources
Figure 2: Letters received by topic
All told, the Task Force has made 165 recommendations for improving Vancouver's response to urban noise in the course of preparing this interim report.
We now hand this, our final report, to Vancouver City Council and the citizens of Vancouver. We hope that the report receives careful consideration by the public and decision-makers alike and that most, if not all, of its recommendations come to fruition by the year 2000.
Figure 3: Has noise increased?
- City-wide responses
Figure 4: Has noise increased?
- Downtown/West End responses
Last modified: April 30, 1997
(c) 1996 City of Vancouver