[Regarding “Captive Audience: Buskers, Downtown Businesses Grapple Over Amplification,” Oct. 5, Xpress:] I’ve only busked twice. I play drums. I lug my electric kit to the intersection of Broadway and Patton. The road noise is pretty intense there. Vehicles in three different directions are accelerating hard to climb to the top of the hill. Anyway, I point my speaker toward what used to be the Vance Monument. I find that I have to turn up the volume a bit just so that I can hear the music with which I’m playing. I may be violating a noise ordinance, and if anyone asked me to turn it down, I would do so. I may relocate to a different corner next time. It’s just too loud on that street during the day (except on Sunday morning, it was lovely).
I play along to songs that I’ve learned. My playlist includes a variety, including very quiet pieces like Lauryn Hill’s “Tell Him” to the Queens of the Stone Age’s raucous “No One Knows.” Maybe I’m part of an emerging problem. But, like I said, the ambient volume level from vehicles accelerating up the hill drowns out what I’m doing. I think part of the noise issue has to do with the exceptional amount of wind that blows through that intersection. I still think the best thing to do with the Vance Monument would be to place a wind turbine there.
Other solutions for that intersection would be to build a roundabout or close the intersection to vehicles. During the day, there are large numbers of people crossing the streets near the monument. It would be much more friendly to pedestrians to remove cars from that interchange. Besides, there are multiple parking garages located a block away.
— Don McAdam
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