“It sounds like there’s people tailgating in there.” Norfolk PD working to curb late night noise

NORFOLK, Va. - Loud screams, yelling and lots of trash very late at night. These are some of the things many people living in Downtown Norfolk have to deal with on weekends. There is a change in place, but it could affect those who are coming to downtown to enjoy the nightlife.

The city's Freemason Garage, on the corner of Granby and Freemason, is a popular spot to park downtown. But for those who do not live downtown, they can no longer park in that garage after 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

"Screams, yells, the occasional fight, whatnot. Bottles breaking, it's been crazy," said Billy Hennessey, who lives downtown.

He said he really enjoys his apartment because he's close to all the restaurants and things to do. But he learned it comes with few strings attached.

"I'm at ground zero on the first floor attached. I hear the rumbling, bustling of everybody coming out. It's been crazy the past year," said Hennessey.

What he's talking about happens very late at night, usually past 2 or 3 in the morning. Many people who live downtown understand city living comes with noise, but having it on a constant basis that late at night is an issue.

"You definitely have to embrace you're living in a city, but it sounds like there are people tailgating in there for a football game before they go out at night. It's crazy. It looks like the parking lot of a football stadium.... bottles, trash, wrappers," said Hennessey.

After getting noise level complaints, the Norfolk Police Department worked with the city to make some changes.

"On Friday and Saturday nights after 9, you have to be a resident in order to park in that garage. We also restricted some on-street parking near that garage to alleviate traffic flow. So that prevented cars from remaining still, loud noise or people starting and stopping," said Corporal Wil Pickering.

There is also a community resource officer outside the garage to help the parking attendants and keep things quiet.

"It's definitely quieted down a lot. A lot less trash, less cars in there on the weekend, but it's definitely turned down the volume," acknowledged Hennessey.

Norfolk Police said they have been doing this for about three to four weeks. This is the test period and people living in the area say they are pleased with the results.

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