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Letter: Mental health is aggravated by sounds

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To the editor:

It’s no surprise to anyone that with the benefits derived from community growth comes the inherent headaches.

For those living next to the newly-resurfaced Highway 29, you will hear a new noise emanating from passing cars as they cross over the corrugated center strip. We make these adjustments to our state highway system in the name of safety. More and more state highways are being converted from 55 MPH to 60. Is that additional 5 MPH really all that important? Moving people and goods at greater speeds seems to be the all-encompassing consideration.

I know nothing about motorcycles except when a certain 10 or 20 pass my house, the whole house shakes from the deafening roar. Do these bikers have any sense of how disruptive their thundering cycles add to the pressures of daily life? How does the law treat the conversion of a quiet muffler system into an ear throbbing environmental assault?

I agree with the author of “Is Alexandria getting too loud?”, but let’s not limit it to Alexandria; these assaults on our hearing have invaded every aspect of our lives. We reluctantly accept the leaf blower, endless running of lawn mowers, garden tillers, etc. When the muffler burns out, some choose not to replace it while simultaneously ignoring its effect on their neighbors. There are even those who use personal ear protection while the neighbors receive the full blast.

We make the inaccurate assumption that our legislators, who are equally aware of this invasion of noise, would act accordingly by introducing appropriate legislation.

No doubt our mental health is aggravated by this array of external sounds, so it seems logical that where we can make a positive change, we should. In the end, at every level, it boils down to having respect and consideration for our neighbors.

Eric C. Enberg Sr.

Alexandria, MN

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