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  1. I am writing as a resident of the Chicago West Ridge neighborhood to complain about the loud muffler issue which is plaguing my neighborhood. I am asking for your help in seeking some sort of answer and/or resolution on this issue.

    There are numerous cars in my neighborhood which have had their mufflers modified to create an extremely loud muffler sound. This is not a case of someone not being able to afford a new muffler. These are purposely modified mufflers to make them sound incredibly loud. These cars begin assaulting the neighborhood at 6:00 AM and continue throughout the day and night until midnight, sometimes even later. This terrorizing of the neighborhood is constant. This is affecting my quality of life living in the neighborhood. The loud cars usually travel between California and Western and Devon and Peterson. This continual bombardment of noise is causing me anxiety and stress issues as I cannot even relax at my home when coming home from a hard day of work.

    It seems to me that these cars are in violation of the following Illinois codes:

    Illinois law- 9-76-140 Exhaust system.
    (a) (1) Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke.
    (2) No person shall use a muffler cutout, by- pass, straight pipe or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a public way.
    (3) No person shall operate any motor vehicle on any public way with any exhaust system or exhaust system component that is not labeled in accordance with Sections 205.158 and 205.169 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, indicating that the exhaust system or exhaust system component meets the applicable federal noise emission requirements.
    For purposes of this subsection (a), the term “straight pipe” means an exhaust pipe lacking a muffler.
    (b) The engine and power mechanism of every motor vehicle shall be so equipped and adjusted as to prevent the escape of excessive fumes or smoke. No person shall operate at any place in the city any vehicle which generates excessive visible emissions of smoke from the exhaust pipe; provided, however, this prohibition shall not include emissions of water or water vapor from the exhaust pipe which is created during cold weather start-up. (Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 11-19-97, p. 57861; Amend Coun. J. 7-26-06, p. 81473, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 10-7-09, p. 73413, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 4-30-14, p. 79799, § 1)

    The following law excerpt is from Illinois Vehicle Code, § 12.602.
    Sec. 12-602. Mufflers, prevention of noise.
    Every motor vehicle driven or operated upon the highways of this State shall at all times be equipped with an adequate muffler or exhaust system in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise. No such muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device. No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise of such vehicle above that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the vehicle, and such original muffler shall comply with all the requirements of this Section.

    I have the license plates from several of the offending cars (All are Illinois plates):

    • LICENSE PLATE: Q862910 Red Volkswagon GLI with stickers on lower L and R sides of rear windshield and a bike rack on top of the car. Seen near Granville and Richmond- 6:30am morning of 5/10/18.
    • LICENSE PLATE: AT 15005 Orange Mitsubishi (Seen at: 5-10-18 Granville and Talman 4:16pm and 5-11-18 11:19 am Rosemont and Artesian)
    • LICENSE PLATE: 590 491 Red with black front bumper guard, 2 door
    • LICENSE PLATE 945 T 000 Grey Mitsubishi

    I have emailed my 50th ward Alderman, Debra Silverstein about this issue on several occasions and her office responded with:

    “Any noise that violates the noise ordinence needs to be enforced and ticketed by the police. Here is the muffler ordience in further detial. http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/title9vehiclestrafficandrailtransportati/chapter9-76vehicleequipment?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il$anc=JD_9-76-140 The CAPS office can also be reached. (312) 744 – 6321.“

    I called the police department and they told me to call 911 whenever it happens. I have been making calls and sending emails for the past month or two to no avail. The loud noises still continue. It is difficult to tell exactly which car is creating the noise when it occurs.

    As a resident of this neighborhood for the last 8 ½ years, I really do not want to move as I like the apartment I am living in. Can you help with this issue? Can the city come out and do some type of a noise test on the corner of Artesian and Rosemont between the hours of 6am and midnight? I do plan on attending the next CAPS meeting on June 5 and hope to voice this issue there as well.

    I am not sure exactly who to write at the City of Chicago about this issue. Can you offer any help on this issue? Thank you for your time.

    1. It appears as though you are doing all the right things. This is not a landlord tenant issue as the landlord does not have any control over the situation. My other suggestion is that you start a petition with your neighbors complaining about the problem and see if that draws any action from the alderman or the police district commander.

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