Silence is Golden Mayor's Initiative Tackles Noise Complaints

Honking horns, noisy refuse trucks, construction clamor, boom boxes and car alarms are just some of the undeniable facts of life in living in the city that never sleeps. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, however, hopes to quell these noisy episodes with a quality of life initiative aimed at making the city a more peaceful place to live.

In October, the mayor began Operation Silent Night, a program that calls on the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Police Department and other city agencies to target noise problems in 24 different enforcement zones throughout the city.

The neighborhoods initially targeted under the directive include Soundview and Morris Heights in the Bronx, the Flatbush and Bushwick sections of Brooklyn; Greenwich Village and Washington Heights in Manhattan; Queens Village and Astoria in Queens; and St. George and Tottenville located in Staten Island.

More areas are being added in subsequent phases of the program, according to the mayor's office. The program will respond to complaints that are directly telephoned in to the New York Police Department's Quality of Life Hotline.

Soundproofing the Sound Barrier

Noise complaints are the number one problem reported to the police hotline, comprising 83 percent of the 97,000 calls received during 2002. The first phase of this multi-agency effort, according to Senior Mayoral Advisor Vincent LaPadula, is concentrating the city's enforcement efforts where loud and excessive noise has proved to be a chronic disturbance.


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  • I have been hearing about this noise/quality of life campaign for quite sometime now. It sounds good, it's long over-due, and here are a couple of questions I have. There seems to have been a resurgence of very noisy motorcycles on the streets in Manhattan. The sight of a pack of bikers tearing down the street at breakneck speed while bombarding the defenseless pedestrians with headsplitting noise is almost a daily event. Why is that allowed? People get ticketed for all kinds of motor vehicle related violations. I have yet to see a policeman stopping any such offensive muffler-free terrorizers. On a very different note, I have been trying to resolve noise problems with the upstairs neighbor for almost a year, in vain. I see there are all the rules and codes for noises from clubs, constructions cars etc. What does one do when the neighbor upstairs wakes you up every single night by simply stomping around and has his dog run across the bare wooden floor anytime between 1-5 a.m.? He feels no obligation to either soundproof his floor or modify his nighttime activities regardless of the complaints. 311 has advised us to call the police when the disturbance occurs. Police?! Every night?? I can see the picture already-' ...but officer, I am just walking, these people are crazy...' Our co-op house-rules are not really specific or enforced regarding noise disturbance. We still hope to negociate without resorting to lawsuits. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  • I have recently moved into the Towers on the Cross Island Parkway. The motorcycle noise all night long is unbearable. I don't understand why these vehicles are allowed to have such noisy mufflers or are even allowed on the parkway all night long. Isn't there anything we can do about this?