Annapolis council OKs anti-noise bill; Downtown complaints spur tougher action


Annapolis Alderman Louise Hammond had long received complaints from constituents in the downtown about noisy revelers on Main Street and car alarms that sound for hours.

Those issues were addressed Monday night when the city council unanimously approved a bill co-sponsored by Hammond and Mayor Dean L. Johnson to tighten Annapolis' public disturbance laws.

The bill makes it a violation to create a "public disturbance noise" of "sufficient loudness, character and duration" that would interfere with residents' lives. Violators face a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment of up to 90 days.

The bill also gives police officers the authority to tow a vehicle or break into it to disconnect an alarm that goes off and is not deactivated in 15 minutes.

"I hope we've given the Police Department a little bit more to work with," said Hammond, a Democrat.

During the meeting, Johnson also announced that the Transportation Association of Maryland had named the Annapolis transit system the state's best. Paul M. Foer, marketing specialist for the Annapolis Department of Parking and Transportation, said the city's bus system has had a 30 percent increase in ridership in the last two years, from 700,000 two years ago to more than 900,000 in June.

Foer said the city is trying to lure more riders with "Try Transit Week" this week. As part of that promotion, bus rides will be free tomorrow.

Pub Date: 9/15/99

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