Loud muscle cars along Woodward corridor the target of potential sound pollution rules

Woodward can get noisy - real noisy. 

Summer is here but the Woodward Dream Cruise is still months away. So why is it already so loud up and down the historic highway?

Things are already pretty noisy along the Woodward corridor in Oakland County. Many who live and work along the road are hoping that 2023 is the year that authorities are able to curb the noise from the cars and motorcycles.

The sounds of an engine reving and tires squealing is ubiquitous on M-1. But it's not all good news for people like Bill Anderson from Royal Oak. He knows it will be several months of this.

"From this weekend till you know, it starts to get cold out, it gets pretty bad," Anderson said. "We’ve had numerous neighbors call and complain to the City of Royal Oak and they just never ever - it just doesn’t stop."

He's not alone. Many feel the season of 'step-on-it' speedy muscle cars crosses the horizon from a simple celebration of Detroit’s storied automotive heritage and careens straight into plain old noise pollution.

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"The Dream Cruise - we expect it, we appreciate it, we love it, we welcome it - but when it comes to, like, on a Sunday night, 8:30 - 9:30 at night…that’s all you hear is cars just tearing it up down Woodward. I appreciate cars, I love cars. I’ve got a ‘69 Corvette, so I love to see it. But it’s loud," Anderson said.

Police are hearing the complaints. Several police agencies along Woodward have added more cops to patrol traffic with some officers working overtime on weekends.

Residents we talked with will take anything that could work.

"Something. You know, maybe a noise violations or things like that might keep people away from Woodward. I don’t want cars to be away from Woodward. I love the classic cars, but it’s to the point where it gets really loud," Anderson said.

There have been similar efforts before, and Ferndale City Councilwoman Laura Mikulski says Mayors of Woodward towns are teaming up again.

"Last year there was something called Operation Decrescendo and that’s a collaborative effort along the Woodward corridor to really curtail some of the noise. Do something a little bit proactive. It’s multiple police jurisdictions, multiple departments working together to make sure that we enforce - I believe it’s MCL 257.707C, which basically states that your noise from vehicles needs to be 90 decibels or lower," Mikulski said.

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Still, local elected officials and police chiefs say there’s only so much they can do to regulate car noise…given the way state laws have been drafted.

"I think the thing that people should remember is that we’re all human and we should be cognizant of our neighbors and we should be a little bit kinder and gentler to our neighbors so that means don’t run down the side streets with your loud vehicle, get your muffler checked and just be a good neighbor," Mikulski said.

With license plate technology that can automatically identify a vehicle, it may make police's job of tracking down the offenders easier.