Carless in Sun-Times on Right to Quiet


Yesterday, the Sun-Times published my response to a December 6th Commentary piece on the debate over the right of downtown Chicago residents to demand noise controls on street musicians.

In a similar vein to a Chicagoist posting on the subject (which I contested on this site), the Sun-Times suggested that 42nd Ward Alderman Burt Natarus give out earplugs to his downtown constituents.

My response, published Monday, December 12, reads:

The right to quiet

The Sun-Times editorial Dec. 6 [“Whistleblowers, please try to keep it down”] tells me that, as a resident of downtown, I should “wear earplugs” if I am bothered by illegal or painfully loud street drummers and other musicians who play morning, noon and night below my living room and bedroom windows.

Would the Sun-Times seriously consider telling that to anyone else in this city? If I lived in Bridgeport, or Lincoln Park, or Avondale, or Brighton Park, that would be a ludicrous response. So why does the Sun-Times think that my quality of life, in my own home, in my own neighborhood, is suddenly fodder for a flippant response just because my home is downtown?

The east Loop is quickly turning residential. If Mayor Daley wants to keep people living there, along with the real estate and sales tax base we bring with us, don’t treat us like second-class citizens. Downtown dwellers deserve the same quality of life as do all Chicagoans. That includes being able to carry on a conversation — or sleep — comfortably in my own home.

Mike Doyle,

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What do you think?