New Noise Codes Aim To Make City Quieter, Good Luck With That

A new ordinance kicked in Sunday aimed at bringing down the noise levels in New York City.  The new codes will attempt to address noise from construction sites, bars and clubs, barking dogs, ice cream trucks (really?) and garbage trucks, among other things.

According to the New York Times:

…contractors must produce “noise mitigation plans,” and post them at their job sites, informing the public how they intend to minimize the sounds of exploding rock, yammering jackhammers and other outbursts. Garbage trucks must stay at least 50 feet away from residential buildings between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.; ice cream trucks must turn off their cheery jingles when parked at the curb; and poorly muffled motorcycles and trucks will be barred.

(pic via

Out of curiousity, how is a garbage truck going to stay at least 50 feet away from buildings?  That means they can’t drive down side streets, right?  And how are they going to pick up trash if they don’t drive down side streets?  I guess these new codes are going to be like those fake laws nobody enforces or pays attention to – like jay walking or smoking pot?

If you’re interested in reading the whole ordinance, let me pull out a portion and show you why you and I aren’t lawyers:

From the 25 page noise code PDF provided by the city:

§4. Subdivision (a) of section 24-208 of such code is amended to read as follows: (a) The commissioner may require the written registration of air compressors, paving breakers, refuse compacting vehicles and rapid transit railroads, including but not limited to its rolling stock, track and trackbeds, passenger stations, circulation devices rated 300,000 BTUs or higher, tunnels, elevated structures, yards, depots and garages. A period of sixty days shall be allowed for the filing of such registration measured from the date such registration is required by the commissioner or with respect to devices installed after such requirement is instituted measured from the date of installation. However, in cases of emergency, the commissioner may designate a shorter period of time. §5. Section 24-211 of such code is amended to read as follows: §24-211 Display of permits[,] and certificates [and other notices; removal or mutilation prohibited]. Any tunneling permit or certificate required by this code shall be displayed in the vicinity of the device on the premises designated on the tunneling permit or certificate or in the vicinity of the place where the device will be operated or supervised.v§6. Paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of section 24-213 of such code is amended tovread as follows:

Great read.  I want more:

Construction Noise Management
§24-219 Noise mitigation rules. (a) The commissioner shall adopt rules prescribing noise mitigation strategies, methods, procedures and technology that shall be used at construction sites whenever any one or more of the construction devices or activities listed below are employed or performed:
(1) air compressors.
(2) pile drivers.
(3) sledgehammers.
(4) bulldozers.
(5) pneumatic hammers.
(6) steam shovels.
(7) derricks.
(8) cranes.
(9) steam or electric hoists.
(10) off-road construction vehicles other than trucks.
(11) pumps.
(12) pneumatic tools.
(13) blasting.
(14) power tools.
(15) tunneling machines.

This one makes more sense.  If by chance they’re listing things that shouldn’t be noisy, I want to add my next door neighbor who’s a DJ.

Also – as I’m writing this, there’s a gargabe truck on 78th doing everything except being quiet.


1 Comment

Filed under 78th, Politics

One response to “New Noise Codes Aim To Make City Quieter, Good Luck With That

  1. Todd

    I quote: “The new codes will attempt to address noise from construction sites.” Stop. Just wondered if you are trying to imply that it’s somehow wrong or ill-conceived to address noise from a construction site.

    Also, a quote in bold: “bringing down the noise levels in New York City”. Wonder if you’re trying to imply that this idea is ill-conceived.

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