Citizens of this part of New York City should benefit from new anti-noise measures
(Photo: www.
wholeworldwindow.com
)


FRONT PAGE
SiteSearch
About us
Directories


World Environment Day 2005
Most polluted US cities
North America's greenest cities
New York's hidden poverty
New York Subway
US metro agenda
US cities on the internet
Urban poverty in the US
Safest US cities
New Urbanism
Slow Cities
Urban pollution


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More



This archived article was published 10 June 2004
New York Mayor in fight
against noise pollution
By Josh Fecht, US Editor

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has put forward legislation, which will provide the first comprehensive overhaul of the New York City Noise Code in over 30 years.  Noise is the number one complaint to the City’s 311 citizen service hotline, currently averaging nearly 1,000 calls a day. The proposal provides a flexible environment to keep New York’s businesses thriving while addressing the number one quality of life complaint in New York.

Mayor Bloomberg said that his new proposal, which was announced in June 2004, was the first overhaul of the Noise Code in over 30 years and would maintain the City’s vibrancy by balancing the need for construction, development and an exciting nightlife with New Yorker's well deserved right to peace and quiet. “Building on the success of our enforcement initiative, Operation Silent Night, we are proposing a comprehensive revision to the noise code that will make New York quieter and more liveable without stifling growth,” the Mayor added.

The new Noise Code will remove outdated code sections and replace them with ones that use the latest acoustic technology and will provide for flexible and reasonable enforcement. 

The legislation focuses on five areas:
Reducing sound resulting from construction: The new code provides updated and sensible means of limiting noise from construction sites located near residential neighbourhoods. By establishing uniform best management practices for all work sites, using greater discretion in granting permits for night and weekend work and mandating ‘noise management plans’ that include portable sound barriers, noise jackets for jackhammers at all construction sites the code will decrease noise pollution.

More practical regulation of sound from commercial music sources: The existing noise code prohibits sound from commercial music establishments such as bars, clubs and cabarets, louder than 45 decibels as measured in a residence.  That standard fails to capture intrusive bass-level music and vibrations, which cannot be captured by a conventional decibel scale. The new code establishes a more flexible standard and enforcement schedule for music sources that includes no penalties for first offences if compliance is achieved as well as a new standard to measure bass-level and vibrational sound.  

Closing a loophole in current code provisions governing air conditioning and air circulating devices: Air conditioning units on buildings, particularly clusters of them, are a growing source of noise complaints.  Although the current code has a standard for air conditioning units of 45 decibels, it has been interpreted to apply only to a single unit.  Because of this loophole, a cluster of air conditioning units could be generating 60 decibels of sound, but there would be no violation unless a single unit was creating more then 45 decibels.  The updated code will create a uniform standard of 45 decibels for all installation of air conditioning units and mandate that existing units that exceed 50 decibels in the aggregate reduce their output by five decibels.

Simplify enforcement by using a ‘plainly audible’ standard instead of conventional decibel limits, which require use of a noise meter: The existing code requires use of handheld decibel meters to issues many summonses.  Although decibel meters are useful at obtaining acoustic measurements, they require frequent calibration, have a three decibels plus-or-minus margin of error, and the police officers, who are often responsible for enforcing the noise code, do not always have them available or have received the training necessary to operate them. The code adopts a standard of ‘plainly audible’ at specified distances.  Police officers and noise inspectors will be allowed to issue summonses for a multitude of violations including car stereo, loud music, barking animals and loud mufflers using a common-sense standard and without a noise meter.  This standard has been used and upheld by courts in many other states.

Increase enforcement effectiveness by limiting the Code’s use of a standard of 'Unreasonable to a person of normal sensitivities': The existing code prohibits ‘noise that is unreasonable to a person of normal sensitivities.’ This standard is too vague to be consistently defensible. The new code replaces it with more specific and defensible standards.   For areas not specifically covered in the code, sound is prohibited from any source that increases the ambient noise in a residence by ten decibels during the day and seven decibels at night.

The new code will augment the successful anti-noise initiative, Operation Silent Night. Silent Night targeted 24 high-noise neighbourhoods throughout the City with intensive enforcement measures. Since its inception in late 2002, using sound meters, towing of vehicles, seizure of audio equipment, summonses, fines, and arrests, the initiative resulted in the issuing of 3,706 noise summonses, 80,056 parking violations, 40,779 moving violations, 33,996 criminal court summonses, and 252 DEP noise violations.  The New York City Police Department is currently identifying new neighbourhoods to be targeted for noise control under Operation Silent Night.


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces new legislation to reduce noise.

Introducing Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City
Michael R. Bloomberg became New York's 108th Mayor on 1 January 2002. He was born on 14 February 1942 in Medford, Massachusetts, where his father was the bookkeeper at a local dairy. Mayor Bloomberg's thirst for information and fascination with technology was evident at an early age, and led him to Johns Hopkins University, where he parked cars and took out loans to finance his education. After his college graduation, he gained an MBA from Harvard and in the summer of 1966, he was hired by Salomon Brothers to work on Wall Street.

He quickly advanced through the ranks and became a partner in 1972. Soon after, he was supervising all of Salomon's stock trading, sales and later, its information systems. He was fired in 1981 after another company acquired Salomon.

Michael Bloomberg used his stake from the Salomon sale to start his own company, an enterprise that would revolutionise the way Wall Street did business. As a young trader he had been amazed at the archaic nature of storing information. When he needed to see how a stock had been trading three weeks ago, he had to find a copy of the Wall Street Journal from the date in question. The records system consisted of clerks pencilling trades in oversize ledgers. He set about creating a financial information computer that would collect and analyse different combinations of past and present securities data and deliver it immediately to the user.

Michael Bloomber was re-elected in November 2005.
More