Police agencies taking extra measures to curb noise on Woodward

By: Mike Koury | C&G Newspapers | Published June 29, 2022

 Because of the increase in noise produced by vehicles during the warm weather, multiple police departments along Woodward Avenue are participating in a noise enforcement campaign.

Because of the increase in noise produced by vehicles during the warm weather, multiple police departments along Woodward Avenue are participating in a noise enforcement campaign.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


OAKLAND COUNTY — Police departments along the Woodward Avenue corridor have announced that they will be enforcing a “rigorous” noise enforcement campaign.

Police agencies in Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge and Royal Oak, as well as the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, are participating in what’s being called “Operation Decrescendo.”

The operation, according to a press release, is designed to calm the noise along Woodward caused by traffic and loud vehicle exhaust systems.

“Police and Public Safety Officers along Woodward are being directed to rigorously enforce loud exhausts and hazardous driving (reckless, drag racing, etc.), as well as minor traffic violations on Woodward throughout their tours of duty,” the release states. “Officers will be enforcing Michigan law MCL 257.707c which states the total noise from a motor vehicle shall not exceed 90 decibels upon a roadway of 35 mph or greater.”

Sgt. Rob Ried, of the Pleasant Ridge Police Department, stated that over the years Woodward has become more disruptive, especially with muscle cars that have modified exhaust systems.

“Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, we especially get a lot of that going into the underpass going underneath (Interstate) 696. “People like to go down there, rev the engines a bit, which reverberates down in the underpass … but our biggest complaint that we’re hearing is the residents can’t enjoy a peaceful evening out on their back porch or patio because of the noise level in the area.”

For Ried, the idea for the program came up after holding a “Coffee with a Cop” event where police received, more than anything, noise complaints from residents about vehicles on Woodward.

Usually the noise levels, Ried said, get worse around when the weather breaks from winter into the spring.

Both Ried and Berkley Public Safety Detective Lt. Andrew Hadfield felt all the police departments are in the same boat, in that they have no problem with people being out and about on Woodward cruising in their vehicles.

“It’s simply being cognizant of the noise that they’re creating, and not purposely creating that disruptive noise from the engines,” said Ried. “People that are just out for a cruise on Woodward, no problems at all. It’s just the reckless driving and that type of behaviors that create the noise that we’re looking for, especially Thursday through Sunday.”

“I think everybody in our area does like the Woodward Dream Cruise and they love the cars and they love that, but we want to make sure we’re keeping that within certain tolerance levels, that we’re not getting past enjoying our beautiful cars on Woodward, and we’re not moving that into reckless driving and having a radio blaring so loud that it’s shaking windows several streets away,” Hadfield added. “Sometimes those cars are moving into the side streets, and that’s generally where the complaints are coming from.”

Hadfield said police want everyone to enjoy their cars, stating that many officers love cars — himself included. But on the other hand, Woodward is not a freeway, nor a racetrack.

“There are people that are trying to enjoy the night, you know, whether it’s for a walk or whether it’s in their backyard, and at some point some of that can become obnoxious to them,” he said.

Recently, Ried said, the Pleasant Ridge Police Department received a decibel meter to measure the noise emitting from vehicles. It also has put up more noise enforcement signs and has had officers conduct extra patrols Thursdays through Sundays.

According to the press release, Operation Decrescendo will be in effect from now until September, with an exception for the Woodward Dream Cruise Aug. 20.