Pittsburgh has an annual foot race, and I have the misfortune to have the starting line just outside my bedroom window. (The sellers did not disclose this... which actually led to me going to traffic court the first year over a parking ticket, but that's another story.) I understand the necessary noise from a crowd of 10,000 people, but the unnecessary, gratuitious noise of loudspeakers blasting music at 7AM (!) has been an annual irritant. (We're talking loud enough to rattle windows.)
Last year I wrote to the mayor (who, by the way, was facing an election six weeks later) and asked that they alter the race (location or start time) and kill the unnecessary music. I did not receive a reply, not even one of those generic brush-offs that politicians routinely send. When the web site for this year's race went up I sent my request again via their web form -- again, nothing. And in early September we received a letter telling us about the race and its parking restrictions (hey, first mailed notice in nine years of living here!), and the letter included a phone number, so I tried that. (At this point, obviously, I was focusing only on the music issue, as all other aspects of the race were fixed.) I never succeeded in reaching a human at that number (possibly by design?) and left a message, which -- do you see a pattern here? -- was never answered.
I was, therefore, pleasantly surprised to find this morning that the obnoxious music was gone! The loudspeakers fired up around 8:30, but they were making announcements, not blasing music. It didn't become unbearable until close to 9, and it was all over by 10.
I never tried to coordinate a campaign with the neighbors (thought of it too late), so I have no idea if others complained too. Was this a coincidence, did they receive complaints from multiple people, or did one person actually effect this change? I'll never know, but that's ok if this sticks.
This week I will be following up with thank-you notes/calls in hopes that we can keep this modification next year. (It would really suck if the lack of music was just due to a technical difficulty or something...)