Noise, a variety of it, is part of the Boardwalk experience, but too much of the wrong kind does make for an unpleasant experience.
Certain Boardwalk merchants have been violating the town’s noise ordinance for years, playing music louder than permissible and of questionable taste. The city has not done much about it in recent years, but officials have decided to crack down on this noise, announcing last week authorities will be conducting sting operations targeting the stores that amplify music above and beyond accepted levels.
The line governing what’s too much noise is dictated by town ordinance. The Constitution protects some from the specific types of noise they are allowed to release into the public arena. For the most part, crude talk about male and female body parts and using violent weapons to get points across can be played along the Boardwalk without fear of repercussion. However, how loud it can be is addressable and needs to be monitored routinely and carefully.
On a recent Boardwalk evening, Councilman Doug Cymek, a former long-time member of the town’s appointed noise board, watched the situation in front of one problem business. “I was at a store three times from 7:30 to about 11 p.m., last weekend, and it gets progressively louder as the night goes on,” said Cymek. “You should see the faces of families who walk by and the things they say to one another as they walk by. It is not good for this town.”
We agree and this is something the town can easily address through repeated noise checks and strict enforcement when necessary. At last week’s police commission meeting, there seemed to be a new commitment made to tackle this issue. That’s proper, but unless there is a diligent effort made on a consistent basis the noise will return, similar to the way the lewd T-shirt situation has trended in recent years. When enough concerns are expressed on the nasty shirts, Boardwalk merchants often move them to the back of their stores for a week or two, but slowly but surely the messages reappear, sullying the Boardwalk appearance.
Parents cannot always shield their kids from profanity and other general obscenities while in public. However, the law does protect to a certain extent the volume this so-called music can be played at. It can only be so loud and audible from a certain distance, 50 feet in most cases.
The noise crackdown is a necessary move by the city, and we encourage officials to stay on it because it will make a difference in the entire Boardwalk experience.