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Neighborhood Problems and Perceptions

There is no doubt that a neighborhood consists of pleasant and bad neighbors. Some neighbors may cause issues in the neighborhood by being disruptive. Besides, other neighbors might have to either tolerate them or report them to the management so they would take action against them. Although some people think that they have the freedom to behave however they want in the house, but they should still consider that some of their actions might disrupt the peace of other neighbors as it could affect their mental or physical health. In addition, loud noises and unusual behavior of children creates an uncomfortable environment for other neighbors, especially the people who are diagnosed with certain diseases and most importantly, the rights of the other neighbors get violated. This paper discusses the causes and effects of neighborhood noises and how they can be controlled using implemented community guidelines. The main cause discussed is loud music and noise from children where the solutions suggested to control the noise include soundproofing and legal measures. The solutions are implemented using digital devices, area zoning, and penalties to control noise disturbances.

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Some of the illegal behavior of children in the neighborhood can cause specific issues for that neighborhood such as damaged property and loud noises which makes their parents responsible for their actions. One of the biggest issues in our neighborhood is caused by the noise that comes from the children who play in the neighborhood. “Most local noise ordinances designate “quiet hours”; for example, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and until 8 or 9 a.m.”. Children tend to constantly play at inappropriate time frames such as early mornings, evenings, late at night, or at weekends when neighbors want to rest up and relax a bit. Moreover, children play for many hours with high noise. The neighbors have already complained to the manager but unfortunately, this issue hasn’t been resolved. The mother of two children stated, “I cannot imprison my children at home.” Although, children have the right to play around, they must do it at certain times with a quieter tone.

Loud noises may cause problems in the neighborhood, especially if there are noises at midnight or the time of rest. However, the loud and annoying noise that comes from the neighborhood include loud music playing from certain homes. Some teenagers live in these houses and party and play loud music at midnight. They make a lot of noise and disturb the neighbors by preventing them from having a pleasant sleep at night. When they pass by the neighborhood with their cars, they play loud music that disturbs the neighborhood. If music is played out loud, whether in or outside the house, it is a sign of irreverence. The neighbors go through a shocking phase. One of the neighbors who is a senior mentioned “One day, a car passed by the neighborhood and suddenly a loud music blasted from the car, and I almost had a stroke.” Seniors need peace and quietness in their houses.

Neighbors have warned them for the noise that they create but they tend to ignore this notice after a period. “Under the guidelines of Section 415 of the California Penal Code, it is illegal for any resident to knowingly create loud and unreasonable noises as a means of disturbing another. Those convicted of violating this law face a maximum of 90 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of $400.00”. This law exists if neighbors ran out of options and could not quiet down the neighbors. There are expanded problems in a neighborhood that can be either simple or complex. “Neighborhood problems is a broad term that encompasses both physical or material features of the neighborhood (e.g., abandoned buildings, litter, vandalism) as well as elements of social disorder (e.g., crime, loitering, street conflict, or illicit drug use)” (Echeverrı´a). These problems can either affect physical or mental health. For instance, the neighbors could damage the grass, vandalize the trees, ruin the flowers and nature in general. Some neighbors may also be addicted to drugs and the smell of it can harm them.

Some neighbors may have certain diseases or disorders that makes them vulnerable to different types of disruptive behavior. “Neighborhood problems might pose severe constraints on individuals with diabetes (7), among whom clinical management is required to attain good glycemic control, blood pressure, and lipid control, which require substantial self-management such as a healthy diet, regular physical activity, self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), regular foot care, and adherence to medications” (Gary). Although some individuals may suffer from these types of diseases, but there are people who also suffer from heart diseases and mental problems. Thus, they’re vulnerable to having a sudden stroke. “It could be that healthier people are more likely to live-in better-quality neighborhoods (i.e., with access to green space, lack of civil disruption), but it could also be that the neighborhood influences both the health behaviors and stress levels of residents” (Hill). A neighborhood’s bad conditions may also affect the healthy residents. This means that a neighborhood’s problems can even make healthy individuals go ill.

In a neighborhood, people’s perspectives may be different towards different problems. “A different view on relationships between neighborhood and health has been provided by evaluating individuals’ experience of adverse neighborhood conditions in terms of perceived neighborhood problems. Researchers have developed scales to assess the self-reported severity of neighborhood characteristics such as safety, litter, noise, poor availability of services, vandalism, or poor social cohesion—all of which may relate to chronic stress” (Frank). A bad neighborhood’s problems consist of not having a safe environment, having too much unnecessary noise, and not having the access to grocery stores and government agencies. These are the things that researchers have been researching to evaluate the conditions of a neighborhood.

The author states “In fact, residing in a disadvantaged neighborhood may be associated with barriers to the management of a chronic condition. People with chronic conditions can find more problems in managing undesirable neighborhood characteristics and have more difficulties in finding adequate treatment” (Diez Roux). There are a lot of problems in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The government should take responsibility for these neighborhoods and should help them to improve the conditions of their neighborhood. Our neighbor next door is a kind man by the name of Benjiro who talks about the neighborhood problems constantly, and he says “When I’m stressed out, I do yoga. You guys should also do yoga whenever you guys are stressed out because Yoga helps you to find your peace and you’ll be able to deal with your day-to-day problems a lot easier” (Takahashi). Sometimes you cannot take action against the neighborhood’s problems.

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Thus, you should relax yourself by doing yoga, playing peaceful music, drinking a cold beverage, and working out. By doing such things, you can boost your tolerance and deal with the problems a lot easier. Overall, problems in a neighborhood may vary for different individuals. People should do research on a neighborhood before they chose to move in. They should choose their neighborhood based on their taste. Problems may have different priorities for different individuals; safety and peace may be the number one priority for some people. On the other hand, some people’s number one priority is to be in a neighborhood where they can have access to essential stores. Besides, neighbors should respect each other so they can reduce the number of problems.

Solutions to Neighborhood Noise

There are a lot of solutions for resolving problems regarding neighbor’s noises. There are a lot of differences between normal noises and loud noises. Don’t forget that sometimes the individual who is disturbed by the noises might make noises themselves. Thus, if neighbors make temporary noises, they should consider being patient and deal with those noises calmly until they’re gone. If neighbors can tolerate the noises, they should do it and be patient. For instance, they can practice Yoga, listen to chill music, etc. It should be taken into consideration that the person who is being influenced by the noise, might create some noise themselves. Thus, they should be patient when a neighbor’s being loud.

If the neighbors make a lot of noise, the first thing we should do is to talk to the neighbors. Perhaps the neighbor might have not noticed their own mistake. Thus, a small friendly talk may solve the problem. Sometimes talking to the neighbors might create misunderstandings as Telegram and Gazette state “I honestly don’t know how they can stand it.

At least we can shut the windows. Even my low-key husband is fed up. Is there any recourse for us? I don’t mean to sound selfish, but is a little peace and quiet too much to ask for?” (Telegram & Gazette). Even peaceful and relaxed individuals might get tired of the noises that the neighbors make, and it is not a selfish act to ask for quiet and peace in your area.

Thus, talking to a noisy neighbor is not a false action. Although it might not have great results, but this is the simplest solution. This solution might not work out because usually some neighbors get offended when another neighbor talks to them and give them notices. Not only they won’t listen, but they might continue being noisy. Thus, this might not be a good solution.

However, if problems didn’t get resolved by speaking, you should get help from the manager. Unsatisfied neighbors can gather and write a note regarding their dissatisfaction with the neighbors unnecessary and loud noises. “The care coordinator discusses the plan of action with the household. The household’s vision on the plan is incorporated in a guidance agreement that specifies what the household should do to reduce the nuisance (e.g., turning down their music after 10 p.m)” (Kramer). There are some general rules that families should know about and observe it. For instance, any type of noise or loud music from 10 p.m. and after should be turned down. Sometimes, talking directly to the noisy neighbor is not the right thing to do. Thus, there should be a third person such as the manager who can give notice to the neighbor and solve the problem.

Generally, making any type of noise that effects the neighbors’ peace can be treated with legal actions. If none of the friendly encounters worked, police can get involved and they can help the people by to settling down the noises. “Lilburn ignored the threats and also made offensive comments about one of her neighbors, the police, and council on a social networking site, boasting how she would not turn down the volume. Now relative peace has been restored to the terraced street after council enforcement officers raided her home and removed electrical equipment” (Toronto Star). Some of the neighbors only get satisfied when the police interfere. In addition, police are the only authority that can seriously prevent neighbors from making loud noises.

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However, the government assigned some rules for neighbors who are loud. “A noisy neighbor may create a disturbance by having a loud television, stereo, or radio. These types of complaints are best handled by a resident’s local police station because the loud noise is intermittent, occasional, or spontaneous. A loud party is also best resolved by the officers assigned to the area by calling the non-emergency (877) ASK-LAPD (275-5273)” (“LAPD”).

According to this quotation, neighbors can call this number and summon the police so they can solve this issue. The best and most reliable solution that will work is calling the police and getting police involved in these situations. This is the best way to solve the problem regarding neighbors being noisy.

Action Plan

Digital Application

Neighborhood noise is sometimes inevitable because of the current busy and densely populated society. Members of the community can sit down and discuss solutions to neighborhood noise, but without an action plan to guide people on how to go about controlling the noise, the solutions may not be effective. Talking to neighbors regarding noise control can be time-consuming and disruptive, given that you have to walk to their doors, knock and wait for a response to state your grievances. We live in a digital era where almost everything is done through digital devices, for example, telecom systems (Zappatore et al.). Such inconveniences can be avoided using a shared telecommunication system that can be dialled to the specific household to notify noise disturbances.

Aside from notifying the noisy neighbors personally, the community can develop ways of installing sound control and surveillance devices that give warning signs in case of extreme noise. Most people need rest after a day’s hard work hence require minimal noise to sleep well. A noise limit can be set according to day-time; for example, nighttime should be less noisy than during the day so that neighbors who like loud music can enjoy it at day-time. Surveillance devices will help in showing specific households that violate the noise control limits.

Noise Exposure Zoning

Different types of noise have varied impacts on the community. Noise from children playing and loud music may be disturbing but cannot be compared to noise from heavy machines and appliances, which have adverse health effects, for example, hearing impairment. The community may suggest that such machine and appliances that produce a lot of noise in the neighborhood should be operated during the day when most people are not at home. Alternatively, the community could designate a specific area for such machines that is a bit far from the neighborhood so that the noise does not affect people (Zappatore et al.). Zoning of specific areas means certain activities can only occur in those areas, and adherence is punishable.

Noise from children playing is also disruptive and among the main causes of a noisy neighborhood. Children are naturally active; hence playing and making noise cannot be controlled. Talking to the parents may cause misunderstandings, as discussed above, in solving the problem. Therefore, zoning can also apply to children’s noises where a playground is given where all children get space to play. The pay ground can be sealed off using soundproof materials like foam sealant to minimize the noise.

Precautionary Measures

Controlling noise disturbances should first start with the individual’s initiative. Households that are subject to noise disturbances could build thicker walls that prevent noise penetration. Building walls is a matter concerning house owners and managers who should ensure their buildings are noise proof for people who need their silence. The problem can be implemented by forming a tenant-owners committee that helps in discussing issues related to house management and noise regulation.

Violation Penalties

Most people do not follow given guidelines unless they have severe consequences if not followed. Therefore, the solutions discussed should be implemented with penalties that violate the given rules on noise disturbances. So devices were installed to monitor and control noise levels, areas have been zoned out for noisy machines and children, so what remains is how to make sure everything is adhered to. Penalties may be in the form of community service, fines, or detention in community centres. Since the solution guidelines are specified to the given neighborhood, legal action involving the state police should be the last resort in dealing with members of a small community.

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References

Escheveria, Sandra. “Associations of Neighborhood Problems and Neighborhood Social Cohesion with Mental Health and Health Behaviors: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.” Health & Place , 2008. Web.

Euteneur, Frank. “Neighborhood Problems and Nocturnal Blood Pressure Dipping.” Health Psychol, 2014. Web.

Gary, Tiffany L., et al. “Perception of neighborhood problems, health behaviors, and diabetes outcomes among adults with diabetes in managed care: the translating research into action for diabetes (TRIAD) study.” Diabetes Care, vol. 31, no. 2, 2008, p. 273+. Gale AcademicOneFile. Web.

Hill, Erin M. “PERCEPTIONS OF NEIGHBORHOOD PROBLEMS AND HEALTHRELATED QUALITY OF LIFE.” Neighborhoods *Quality of Life Regression Analysis, 2001. Web.

Höfelmann, Doroteia Aparecida, et al. “Association of Perceived Neighborhood Problems and Census Tract Income with Poor Self-Rated Health in Adults: a Multilevel Approach.” n.d. Web.

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Takahashi, Benjiro. Personal interview. 2021.

“Shutting down loud neighbors; CONDO LAW.” Toronto Star [Toronto, Ontario], 2016, p. H10. Gale in Context: Environmental Studies. Web.

Kramer, DaniA’lle, et al. “Understanding the impact of area-based interventions on area safety in deprived areas: realist evaluation of a neighbor nuisance intervention in Arnhem, the Netherlands.” BMC Public Health, vol. 16, no. 292, 2016. Gale Academic OneFile. Web.

“Try to get respite from loud neighbors, but don’t count on it.” Telegram & Gazette [Worcester,MA], 2013. Gale OneFile: News. Web.

LAPD. “Nuisance-Related Questions.” Los Angeles Police Department Badge. n.d. Web.

Zappatore, Marco et al. “Crowd-Sensing Our Smart Cities: A Platform for Noise Monitoring and Acoustic Urban Planning”. Journal of Communications Software and Systems, vol 13, no. 2, 2017, p. 53. Web.

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