Yelm is growing at a rapid pace. New housing developments and Walmart will add to the traffic nightmare we now face. That we can all agree on.
One factor I have not seen addressed is how the heavy volume of traffic affects our quality of life. The noise from the traffic reduces the quality of life and adversely affects health whether or not one is “used to it” or not. Noise causes involuntary physical reactions such as dialation of pupils and raised blood pressure. For many with high blood pressure or heart problems, traffic noise and other environmental noises can be dangerous and deadly. The stress resulting from environmental noise can produce angry individuals that often result in acts of violence. Noise impacts the learning abilities of our children in schools.
We all have low tolerances for certain noises. It may be a baby crying, a dog barking, sirens, loud vehicles, lawn equipment, loud music (bass that emits strong air vibrations in particular), air conditioners, etc.
Ask yourself how much is to much and consider how it may be affecting your quality of life. Yes, some things are necessary but so is consideration and respect for our neighbors. If you run noisy power equipment that can be repaired or replaced to eliminate excessive noise then do so. That’s being a good neighbor/citizen. If you enjoy loud music consider that others may find it annoying and turn it down. If your vehicle/motorcycle is loud then get it repaired/equiped to run quietly (yes, the means to do so has been available for many years).
Yelm used to be a quiet little town, but for many residents it is fast becoming an unsafe and unhealthy environment. Growth means change. How we manage that growth determines what our quality of life will be. Will we be considerate of the right to the peaceful enjoyment of our homes and community, or will we degrade our quality of life by ignoring the elements that produce negative impacts upon our lives? Will our city officials listen to us and act in the best interests of the people or will they act in the best interests of whatever profits them and their cronies? Do we have unbiased enforcement of our laws and regulations or do we get ignored or harassed when we speak up?
It’s about quality of life! It’s about working together to build a safe peaceful environment… to respect the rights of others.
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While noise is one factor in the quality of life evaluation, it is not the only one that may have a detrimental effect. It can be insidious at times, especially when my car reels and rocks at a stop light and my radio is off; the blaster next to me gets very annoying like that.
Yes, there are other types of pollution as well. And in order to help deal with future growth considerations, it may be beneficial to work NOW to get air pollution data from within the city limits. Multiple location data points may be necessary. This would establish a baseline to compare against once the various development projects come “on-line”: Wal-Mart, Tahoma Terra, etc. By getting baseline data, and then comparing against the “after” results, we can determine what kind of effect the city-density growth being promoted by the Community Development Department has had on other quality of life factors.
In Yelm, Rockford Construction Corp. ( http://rockford-corp.com ) is joining the noise-pollution mainstream.
Without any advanced notice of disturbing noise made to neighboring Cook Rd. residents, this pipeline installation company has rolled on in with heavy equipment, lots of traffic, dust and materials.
I tolerated the heavy equipment noise, traffic and dust during the first 6 weeks of construction through my neighborhood, including excavators, side booms, dump trucks and much more. But the water pumps, supposedly used by their engineers to test or flush their pipeline has a sound similar to a large WWII vintage propeller plane running full throttle. All well & good a new pipeline should be tested if it is going to carry propane or natural gas, but the process is deafening and is in a decibel range that far exceeds anyone’s tolerence.
The last 3 days & evenings, Rockford (or the utility company that will use the pipeline) ran this pump continuously without stopping. The pump was, by my estimates, within 150 to 200 yards of existing homes, with my home being atleast 1 mile away as the crow flies. The project location I speak of is based near the bottom of the hillside that leads up to Yelm Airport. The worksite that this pump furnishes occupies a stretch of dirt road that runs parralel to the Centralia power canal between Shorno’s Farm and Cook Rd.
Regardless of the distance from my home, the machine kept me awake for most of the night. Some other residents who have homes closer to the site must have been and are still probably not happy. When I looked at the placement of the pump near the Centralia Power canal during the day, no effort was made to dampen the loud machine noise as it was running. The pump looks like a large generator, fixed to a trailer and is completely unsheltered, and exposed.
I called several numbers at Thurston County to complain, including Development Services and Waste Water & Pollution management. Of course, being a Saturday no live person could be reached except at Water and Sewer Emergency Toll Free line: 1-800-926-7761
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