by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, and Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition
During this summer season, New York City residents have been calling local representatives, the media, and 311 to complain about the noises they have been exposed to from loud neighborhood parties, vehicles modified to make them sound louder, parked vehicles blasting music, etc. Thus, it was not surprising to read that State Senator Joe Addabbo has been receiving these noise complaints from his Howard Beach constituents.
In response to his constituents’ cries for less noise pollution, which is more than “frustrating” as he notes in this article, he informs us that he is one of the co-sponsors of legislation that will “increase fines for vehicle equipment modifications that make cars louder.” This legislation plans to hold motorists and repair shops accountable for modifying mufflers and exhaust systems that increase the loudness of vehicles and motorcycles. To enable the legislation to be more effective, police cars will have decibel meters to assess the loudness of vehicles. This legislation is definitely a step in the right direction.
Sen. Addabbo then goes on to say that more has to be done by both city and state legislators, working together with the police, to deal with the noise issue. I would like to suggest that his office contact the residents in his district to learn their ideas on what can be done to better deal with the growing urban noise problem. Furthermore, his office might consider producing and then distributing literature to his constituents detailing the health hazards of noise, the ways to protect oneself from loud sounds and noise, and what they can do to reduce noise in our city. He could go to GrowNYC for information to assist in developing this literature.
All New Yorkers must work together to combat noise!