West Seattle neighborhood concerned with loud exhausts

SEATTLE — When it comes to concerns about traffic, you typically hear about congestion and safety. But in one Seattle neighborhood, noise trumps all.

“Noise from modified vehicle exhaust systems” is the biggest concern in the Alki neighborhood, according to results from a public survey. The 1,100 people who took the survey rated noise from exhaust higher than distracted driving and speeding.

City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who represents West Seattle, requested that the Seattle Police Department submit a report on the department’s policies and practices related to “vehicle noise and cruising” in the neighborhood during warmer weather. On Nov. 19, the West Seattle Blog reported that the request “made the final cut” for the 2018 budget. The report is expected by Feb. 23, 2018.

The report, according to Herbold, should include a brief history of enforcement, identification of technological and municipal code or state law factors that affect the department’s ability to enforce the law and potential solutions; identifications of and consideration of emerging technological approaches to vehicle noise enforcement; an outline of summer patrols; exploration of how to approach noise and cruising enforcement in other areas.

“As a beachside neighborhood and regional destination, the Alki neighborhood and nearby areas face unique public safety and health challenges, from Beach Drive to the West Seattle Bridge,” Herbold wrote in a statement of intent. “Residents, community groups, and visitors from elsewhere have expressed concern about the public health and safety impacts of a growing number of motor vehicle-related issues and behaviors.

The Alki Public Safety and Health Survey developed by Councilmember Herbold and neighborhood residents found that noise from modified vehicle exhaust systems and vehicle sound systems were significant areas of concern, along with cruising. Likewise, the Fauntleroy neighborhood near the ferry dock experiences unusually heavy early-morning vehicle noise.”