For the first time in a year, properly vaccinated, we gathered Sunday on the deck of a downtown restaurant with long-time friends. The temperature was perfect, the humidity missing, the vibe good, the menu engaging and the conversation therapeutic and joyous.
But alas, our peace was interrupted repeatedly by what can only be described as needy egos on wheels: boys (grown) driving muscle cars and jacked up trucks with noisy, souped up engines, mufflers that rumbled and shook the air, and occasional blasts of dark, nasty diesel fumes from enhanced exhaust systems. In the relative peace between the rumbling muscle cars and pickups, several times we suffered as packs of motorcycle riders cruised by, similarly intent on destroying a good mood. The noise was deafening, and conversation halted.
Regrettably, we rewarded those immature drivers with long stares, which gave them the attention they wanted, but our stares came with a roll of the eyes and a sad shake of the head. Really, guys?
The city of Covington is conducting its first traffic study in 10 years. Its results will be used to substantiate the placement of new stop signs or pedestrian crosswalks, add or alter stop signs or traffic lights, set speed limits and define parking restrictions or enhancements. Traffic and parking around the Square could hardly be worse these days, but all over the wide area being surveyed, there are impediments to safe travel, whether you are driving, walking or riding a bike. Corrective actions are a must.
I understand that there exists an ordinance meant to hold down unnecessary noise around the Square, but it is not being enforced and that is the key. Make all the laws in the world, write all the ordinances you can dream up, but if there is no enforcement, those laws, those ordinances are meaningless.
While the Downtown Square demands new answers to crowding, let’s not forget that noise pollution or lack thereof also contributes to a good or bad outdoor experience. If maybe one or two noise offenders were cited, word might spread to avoid the downtown if you intend to disrupt the peace.
Barbara M. Morgan