Over the past years, Prague 1 has taken numerous steps to curb the late-night noise levels on Dlouhá, the bar-lined street that has long been one of the city center’s prime destinations for late-night partiers.
For local businesses, recent increases in tourist traffic has been a boon; for residents of Dlouhá street and surrounding locales, it has meant an increase in noise pollution.
Posters line Dlouhá to notify partiers that they are in a residential neighborhood and could face fines for drinking outside or exceeding noise limits, but their effectiveness has been called into question.
Last year, a noise meter was temporarily installed to monitor decibel levels, but removed when it was discovered that inebriated pedestrians were instead utilizing the noise meter to see who could shout the loudest.
Now, Prague 1 is taken new direction thanks to its new “Night Mayor”, Jan Štern, who has devised some alternative methods for dealing with nighttime noise levels.
The first of those, inspired by measures taken at Amsterdam’s Rembrandt Square: beginning with a trial run next weekend, automotive traffic with be banned from Dlouhá during late-night hours.
“The trial closure of the area around Dlouhá street for non-residents and taxis will take place three weekends in a row from April 12th,” Prague 1 councilor David Skála told Pražský deník.
“The entry ban on Friday and Saturday nights between 20:00 and 3:00 will be enforced at this stage by a sign, the compliance of which will be monitored by the Police of the Czech Republic and the municipal police, with whom we coordinate the event.”
According to Skála, a total of 30 police officers will be enforcing the ban on automotive traffic during its trial run.
While limiting automotive traffic may not directly address the noise levels attributed to the pub crawl crowds, they may at least offer some reprieve to local residents.
From someone who has lived for years in central Prague, the noise from automobiles driving over cobblestones is typically a louder and more constant annoyance than inebriated tourists.