I am aware of the concerns voiced about the noise generated by pickleball play on Linda Avenue. In the years that my son attended Beach Elementary School, prior to the advent of pickleball, it was apparent that this was one of the noisiest streets in Piedmont.
The schoolyard was invariably noisy before school in the morning, during recess, and during lunch. Starting at 2 p.m., Minimates was in session and, from 3 p.m. till 6 p.m., Schoolmates was in session. When the weather allowed, the kids would be out on the school playground.
There are also summer camps. Of course, during inclement weather and after dark in the winter, the kids mostly stayed inside (pickleball, likewise, is not played under those conditions). Right next to the school was the play area for toddlers, where kids frequently shriek at the top of their lungs. Next down the line are the tennis courts which, being smaller than regulation size, were usually empty.
Further on is the athletic field which, when my son was a child, was covered in grass and mud, was in terrible shape, and was infrequently used. Since then, the athletic field has been redone with artificial turf and has become a magnet for after school and weekend play, mostly soccer but also lacrosse and other sports. The noise coming from this area has frequently been so cacophonous that pickleball players on the adjacent “tennis courts”, who announce the score before serving, cannot be heard by the opposing teams.
Barking from the dog park across the street is almost continuous from morning till dusk. There’s Linda Avenue itself, which is a relatively busy traffic street for Piedmont, with buses traversing this route all day.
To single out noise from pickleball as “excessive” seems like an exaggeration given all the activities on that stretch of the street.
Nevertheless, in the spirit of compromise, we have begun using softer, quieter, balls in an attempt to mitigate any noise from play. If pickleball noise is excessive and needs to be curtailed, why not mandate the same for the athletic field, playground, dog park, and schoolyard? That’s not terribly practical. Neither are the requests to limit or exclude a sport, which is growing exponentially and loved by all who play, from these seldom used courts.