Posts Tagged ‘NYC Noise Control Code’

Don’t don’t honk

In what some might some might take as an admission of defeat (or at least a concession to reality), the New York City Department of Transportation has begun removing each and every “Don’t Honk” road sign from the city streets.  According to the New York Times, “the move is part of an effort to declutter the streets of often ignored signs.”   The signs also give the impression that unneeded honks were only a violation where the signage was installed; with or without a sign, unnecessary honking remains illegal throughout the city with fines starting at $350.

Don't Honk Sign

Enforcement is another matter; last year the NYPD issued only 206 summonses.  Most New Yorkers could count that many car horns in a day, if they were paying attention to them—of course, for most New Yorkers, ignoring the din of constant honking is a quickly learned survival skill.


This coming Sunday through Wednesday (August 19-22, 2012) brings INTER-NOISE 2012 to New York City, the 41st International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering.  We are excited to be presenting two of our favorite projects during the conference: our Subcat Music Studios project in Syracuse, and our contributions to an ongoing study of wind turbine noise in western New York State.


The theme of this year’s conference (the largest ever held!) is Quieting the World’s Cities, an especially relevant topic for a conference held in the heart of Times Square.  A free Community Noise Public Outreach workshop will be held on Wednesday 8/22 from 8:30 am – 1:45 pm at the Marriott Marquis, including presentations and discussion on the NYC Noise Control Code and noise in general as a community concern.  A top-notch panel of experts and officials has been assembled for this free workshop, and anyone with an interest in community noise (which should include almost anyone living in New York City) will find it enlightening!

Who let the dogs shout

This week the New York Daily News brings us the story of two Upper East Side dachshunds with the honor of bringing home the most animal noise citations of any household in the city last year.  After being warned, the pups’ owner had to cough up a total of $245 for the citations—and no word of what their tally might be so far in 2010.

Interestingly, the “most animal noise citations” for these dogs came to a grand total of: two citations!  Last year, the city Department of Environmental Protection issued only 22 citations for animal noise citywide, despite logging over 5,900 animal noise complaints to 311 that precipitated over 1,200 inspections.

Updated and expanded in 2007, section 24-235 of the New York City Noise Control Code prohibits owners from allowing animal noise to be “plainly audible” in another residence for more than 10 continuous minutes between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and more than 5 continuous minutes between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.  Of course, for a citation to be issued, a DEP inspector needs to be present and witness the 5 or 10 minutes of continuous barking in person, which may explain the disparity between the number of inspections and actual citations: never a barking dog when you need one!

[via Gothamist]

An amphitheater grows in Brooklyn

Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz is promoting plans for an expanded 8,000-seat amphitheater at Coney Island’s beachfront Asser Levy Park, but yesterday’s New York Times highlights the ongoing community opposition to the project—on the grounds of traffic, crowding, and of course, noise.

Neighbors are concerned that the existing “quiet oasis with a modest bandshell” will be disturbed by what would become the city’s largest amphitheater in a public park.  The 9-acre park’s location as a buffer between Coney Island’s famous boardwalk and nearby residential neighborhoods pits the locals’ need for peace and quiet against a broad desire for “a Coney Island entertainment district that will restore the wider area to glory.”

Although the recently-updated NYC Noise Control Code does not itself restrict amplified sound at public, non-commercial performances, opponents of the project may have found a weapon in the city’s permitting rules—which may prohibit permits for sound devices within 500′ of a church during services.  With a synagogue across the street from the park, this could preclude use of the amphitheater during Friday night and Saturday service—a potentially prohibitive restriction for a facility that aims to draw top entertainers.

(Via Brooklyn real estate blog Brownstoner)

Noise is killing Paris nightlife

A recent article in the New York Times highlights the mounting conflict between Parisian revelers and “ever less mirthful” residents that “increasingly demand peace and quiet”.

The contributing causes—high urban density, gentrification that has more than doubled real estate values in recent years, and a 2008 tobacco ban that has sent patrons spilling out onto the sidewalks—closely parallel similar factors in New York City, where noise continues to be the #1 quality-of-life complaint. In response, the 2007 overhaul of the New York City Noise Control Code tightened limits on noise from bars, clubs, and restaurants.

In Paris, such conflicts (and the stepped up regulation that they precipitate) are forcing more and more bars and concert venues out of business, which has in turn lured musicians and DJs to other, more bohemian capitals (such as Berlin). To quote the article — “Paris may soon be dead at night.”

Thankfully, similar circumstances do not seem to have led to such dire consequences here in New York, which continues to enjoy a thriving nightlife—though not always without conflict.  Where a noise problem does occur, an acoustical consultant can help resolve it, either though improved acoustic separation, adjustment of sound systems, or both.  Many bar and restaurant operators, having faced noise issues in the past, work with an acoustical consultant in the design of any new space, to prevent these problems before they happen.