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Another Portland Blog

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

 

No rock n' roll fun




These tickets may not have been worth three hours in line on a Saturday morning but I was already up at the crack of 7 AM. Why? Because of the construction crew that has spent the last two months sloooooooowly building a pair of houses near my place of residence. They like to get an early start, fully exploiting Portland's noise ordinances, which allow them to make as much noise as they like between the hours of 7 AM and 6 PM, Monday - Saturday.

7 AM! On Saturdays! What godless troglodyte came up with this?!!

My alarm clock for the past several weeks has been the shrill call of a mobile crane vehicle the crew trucks in every morning. I'm treated to fifteen minutes of "BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!" before they finally get it into place. If they have a reason for endlessly throwing that metal beast into reverse and waking up every living thing within four blocks, it's a mystery to me. This is followed by ten straight hours of pounding hammers, groaning machinery and workers shouting at each other. I'm amazed that my neighborhood, which consists almost entirely of late-to-rise summer undergrads and stay-at-home-all-day retirees, hasn't run these Craftsman-wielding sociopaths out of town with torches and pitchforks.

As for myself, the situation would be easier to live with if it wasn't for my work schedule, which forces me to be semi-nocturnal. As it stands now, I have to be in bed by my equivalent of 8 PM to get a decent night's sleep. I also now make an effort to avoid the place entirely on my days off. My hammock has barely been graced by my butt cheeks this summer because of these....these....big, mean meanies!

And the crew keeps littering my yard with ice cream sandwich wrappers and Safeway bags. And I have to breath the fumes of their rarely-serviced Honey Bucket if I want to check the mail. And one of their trucks knocked over my mailbox last month.

Mailbox assault aside, the construction company behind this is well within its legal rights but my life has been seriously disrupted since they invaded the neighborhood around Cinco de Mayo. I now have to choose between six days a week of sleep deprivation or sitting around the house each morning while listening to the not-so-subtle sounds of noise pollution.

In short, this bites. Worse yet, the house that was torn down to make way for the two new ones was sitting on three lots. The third lot, which remains unsold, will inevitably be hit by another construction job in the future.

Yeah, I know. "Boo-hoo-hoo" I can hear you saying. "Take this opportunity to get up early, ya' bum. Rise with the summer sun! It'll be raining again before ya' know it." But, really, when you get right down to it, there's nothing to do at 8 AM on a Tuesday morning but putter around the house or lounge outdoors (with the noise and dust flying around). The only thing I'm getting out of all of this is a nervous twitch and the not-at-all reassuring fact that, in a small way, I'm helping maintain Portland's urban growth boundary.

After eleven weeks of noise pollution, I've become a full blown NIMBY convert. Tear down the forests! Extend Portland's boundaries all the way west to Oney's Restaurant and all the way east to Burns! Just, for the love of God, let me sleep in past 7 on Saturday mornings!

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