Wed, Jul 25, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Noise prompts intervention

DADAOCHENG WHARF:The area’s street performers between January 2016 and last month received 67 noise complaints, the most from any area in Taipei

By Chou Yan-yu and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Taipei City Government is to set up a performance demonstration area at Dadaocheng Wharf (大稻埕碼頭), after inspections showed that noise levels in the area exceeded the legal limit, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection announced on Sunday.

The department this month began conducting inspections after receiving complaints about excessive noise caused by street performers.

Between January 2016 and last month, there were 67 noise complaints in the area, Environmental Inspection Division Director Chen Chao-chou (陳沼舟) said, adding that it was the highest number of noise complaints for a single area in Taipei.

The department this month started implementing a plan to provide guidance for performers before it introduces control measures, he said.

By setting up a performance demonstration area, the department hopes it could improve noise levels while maintaining a balance between the performing arts and residents’ quality of life, he said.

The Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs and Hydraulic Engineering Office are responsible for supervising whether street performers are licensed and have permission to perform in a particular area, Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Lu Shih-chang (盧世昌) said.

As such, the measures are not directed toward the legality of the performances, but rather whether the sounds produced by the microphones, speakers or amplifiers have exceeded noise limits, he said.

During the 24 inspections this month, noise levels in the area have fallen below the 72 decibel limit from 7pm to 11pm, he said.

However, officials are to continue their inspections, he added.

If a performer exceeds noise control standards, an inspector might ask them to make improvements within 10 minutes or face a fine of NT$3,000 to NT$30,000 based on the Noise Control Act (噪音管制法), Lu said.

There has been an improvement in recent days, Dayou Borough (大有) Warden Hsu Mei-chih (許美智) said, adding that the number of complaints has decreased following the government intervention.

She said she hopes that the performers would do their best to lower the volume, especially since many older people live in the area.

Yongle Borough (永樂) Warden Chen Fu-chun (陳福春) also said that there has been an improvement, adding that by 10pm, most of the performances have ended.

Originally, the music was so loud that residents could not fall asleep, he added.

Asked whether the department would inspect other areas, Lu said that due to limited resources, the department would inspect other areas on an ad-hoc basis if specific places receive consistent noise complaints.

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