By From page A5 | February 27, 2013


Dear Placerville,

What happened? I have lived in El Dorado County all my life, and in Placerville for 25 years, but since the big Highway 50 project (debacle?) the noise coming from the highway has become unbearable, and I don’t live that close to it. All the highway noise has become alarmingly amplified.

The Harleys love to gun their engines under the new overpass and open up the throttle going through town, or they just sit at the stoplights revving it up, with zero consideration for the residents. What? They can’t see the houses dotted along the highway? Don’t hand me the “loud pipes saves lives” crap because we all know why they are loud. My dad had a Harley when we were kids and he would roll it down the hill, going to work in the morning, being considerate of other people, because he knew it was loud and would wake up people, but those days are long gone and consideration is a foreign policy. I now pray for rain and snow so at least a few days a year I can get some peace.

The big rigs coming down the hill are not being “easy on the Jake brake” either, as I’ve been woken up by them at 2 a.m., 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. consistently. I remember noisy cars, bikes and trucks used to get ticketed for excessive noise, as I received one in the 1970s (my stock AM radio be the offender in my 1967 Chrysler) for it being too loud. Laughable by today’s standards.

There is also a bump/hump/lump on the new highway, where the trucks loads transfer, creating a small explosion-type noise. Why hasn’t this been fixed at least? I read about other freeway and highway projects and they all receive noise and sound walls. Those lucky sons of guns. I also have read about towns that could not put in sound walls (and who cared about their citizens), that have restricted loud cars/trucks/bikes to certain hours, but I’m sure that would be just a pipe dream as we wouldn’t want to interfere with inconsiderate people’s rights.

There are old mines in town which also lends itself to transferring noise underground; this noise also has been amplified.

I have installed new triple paned windows, which have not been opened since the project, and some sound proofing drywall and still have to sleep with some sort of white noise — like TV, fans, whatever — and still no relief. I used to love to garden, or just be out in the yard, but now I just run out and do as little as possible as it is far from enjoyable. It is my understanding that prolonged exposure to such noise levels leads to hearing loss later in life. Oh goody. I have always had a philosophy that your rights end where my rights begin. What about my right for quiet enjoyment? Weren’t any acoustical studies done for that project?

I know some of you are going to ask, “Why don’t you just move?” I can’t. I’m still underwater, and stuck here. But as soon as I am able, I am out of here.


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