Posted by Leonard Steinberg on May 28th, 2011

One of the worst forms of pollution in a city like Manhattan is noise pollution: Because of the very nature of the city, noise affects individuals more acutely than in other parts of the country where noise can carry and be spread out more.

It is time for Manhattan to institute new laws governing noise AND police/enforce these laws. Why does one individual have the ‘right’ to make a tremendous amount of noise at the expense of hundred of individuals. Not only is it unfair, it is completely ridiculous and absurd. The other day I witnessed a loud motorcycle roar past my apartment. One individual on a lousy bike, making the lives of HUNDREDS uncomfortable. Then there are those antiquated garbage trucks, busses, vans, AC equipment, etc. Not to mention construction crews out of control. If I were to sit in my apartment and make the exact same level of sound, I would probably be arrested and jailed. Why does the law not apply to all, equally?

I have heard that noise complaints are one of the primary issues reported on 311 calls: who is listening to this? In other civilized cities and towns, noise ordinances are enforced regularly. If Manhattan is seeking additional tax revenues, there are enough noise offenders that could probably LOWER our taxes…..surely that would be motivation for those questioning me?

Noise is also bad for your health in many ways, not only your ear drums. Noise pollution can cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful effects. Furthermore, stress and hypertension are the leading causes to health problems, whereas tinnitus can lead to forgetfulness, severe depression and at times panic attacks. Surely it does not require a lawsuit to realize that a change in this arena is long overdue?

And by the way, cities and towns with strong noise ordinances offer a better quality of life for all and therefore produce better real estate valuations…..surely another motivator to make some changes?

Something is wrong and it has to change. How much noise do I have to make to be heard on this subject?