Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tracker: Our Noisy Neigbours

Tracker, the vehicle tracking system, has their offices next to a residential block of flats. So we have to put up with their racket, especially after hours.
Yesterday they started experiencing some kind of electrical problem, and City Power installed a standby generator while they work on the problem. You can see the photo above, taken in the early hours of this morning as the light of dawn started appearing in the Eastern sky. Thankfully it was placed on the side of the building away from our block of flats, so we can hardly hear it at all.
The noise that makes it difficult to sleep comes from the parking basement, which houses Tracker's own standby generators. These have been running for hours, and ran for extended periods of time earlier in the week. The noise from these standby generators is louder than City Power's emergency one, and it is amplified by the empty basement, and comes out of the parking garage doors directly towards a residential block of flats.
Judging by all the lights that are on at 5am, there is no shortage of power in the building. It would be nice if there was a shortage of noise, especially when local residents are trying to get some sleep. I woke up at 4.30am after battling to go to sleep last night, and found it impossible to get to sleep again. Eventually I went round to their offices and took these pictures. The sun had not even risen yet.

Tracker has a history of being noisy neighbours. When they first moved in they were forced to stop installing car alarm systems on their premises because of the constant noise of alarms going off. Then in 2004 we were forced to complain about their loud office parties, complete with outside PA systems and live music, which went on until late in the night. One particular party was so loud that even with the doors and windows closed, and with earplugs in my ears, I could hear the words of the songs being played. They eventually agreed to finish their parties at around 9pm, but not before I had to personally go and visit their PR department.
The next outrage was in Feb 2005 when they decided to do helicopter flips for their bigger clients, starting at 8am on a Saturday morning, and proceeding the entire morning. Not only did they not have permission from the Civil Aviation Authority, but the flights were non-essential joy rides! The noise was deafening. Imagine a helicopter taking off and landing every 20 minutes or so within 300m of your bedroom window. The photo was taken with a cell phone camera, so it isn't that big. We were able to read the registration markings of the chopper and report it to the CAA. What's worse is there is a helipad at the Cresta shopping centre, within walking distance of their offices, that they could have used. I guess they weren't given permission because the flights were joy rides, not essential or emergency ones.

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