The local anti-noise movement has come up with a solution to provide better oversight of rowdy businesses and neighbors.
La Cruzada contra el Ruido this week unveiled a Chilean-produced system, called Sistema de Monitoreo or Simon (for short), that allows citizens and authorities to remotely monitor dozens of zones with a reputation for excessive noise from the comfort of a computer.
Simon works like this: Microphones are installed in key locations and linked to an internet platform that can monitor and record decibel levels on a 24/7 basis.
The microphones have been calibrated to official Mexican (NOM) standards and are almost impossible to vandalize, according to Alberto Garcia, one of the Cruzada’s chief promoters.
So far, three microphones have been installed and connected to Simon – two in the Chapultepec nightlife zone (at Libertad and Chapultepec, and next to Estacion C3 Stage) and one outside Casa Musa on Avenida Lapizlazuli in Colonia Bosques de la Victoria.
Real-time decibel levels at all three sites can be consulted at simon.eruido.org. A graphic indicating the noise levels taken at five-minute intervals over the previous nine hours at each of sites can also be viewed on the easy-to-use Simon website.
If municipal authorities decide to adopt and expand the network, it could do the work of hundreds of inspectors, Garcia pointed out. A major problem in issuing sanctions to noisy businesses at present, most municipal governments in the metro area admit, is that recordings have to be made on site, with two witnesses, followed by reams of paperwork. The process generally takes around 15 days before a sanction can be issued. There just aren’t enough inspectors to do a proper job, it is widely acknowledged.
Garcia added that the system would also reduce the possibility of bribes being paid to inspectors to look the other way.
Meanwhile, the floor of the Jalisco Congress will begin discussion next month of the Ley Antiruido (Anti-noise Law) that was presented in the state legislature last year. The bill seeks to punish businesses and individuals with strict penalties if they exceed certain decibel levels. City restaurateurs and bar owners expressed their reservations about the legislation in an open forum held recently in the Congress building