Noise & Other Complaints...
By Mark Saplicki & Vincent Prezioso
is New York City and yes there will be noise. However there are rules that if everyone obeyed would make our town a
more peaceful place. The City of New York updated its noise code a few years back and we present a summary for your
information. Basically the procedure for registering a noise complaint is to call 3-1-1. Or you can register online
at http://www1.nyc.gov/311/ and enter "noise complaints" in the search box to bring up a list from which you can choose. Hint:
Make sure to get a tracking number which will help if you need to call again or refer the matter to the Community Board.
Also it will help your case to get as many of your neighbors as possible to register multiple complaints.
NEW YORK CITY NOISE CODE
Simply put, the Noise Code was created to reduce: "The
making, creation or maintenance of excessive and unreasonable and prohibited noises within the city affects and is a menace
to public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and the prosperity of the people of the city." In order to enforce
this objective, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD)
share duties based on the type of noise complaint. To report a noise complaint, call 311 and they will direct your grievance
to the appropriate agency. This is an overview of the Noise Code and some of the most common sounds of the city. For more
detailed information about noise in the city and the law itself, please visit: www.nyc.gov/dep.
SOUND MEASUREMENTS Overview The decibel (dB) is the universal unit of sound measurement and
is measured with a meter that registers sound pressure and displays these readings on a sound level scale. Sounds of the City
Sound levels vary depending on one's distance from the noise source. Below are some frequently heard sounds and their approximate
decibel levels at common distances from the noise source. When designated as "dB (A)," as seen below, the measurement
is weighted in the "A" scale to simulate human hearing.
30 dB(A) Normal Conversation/Laughter ...................... 50 - 65 dB(A) Vacuum Cleaner at 10 feet .............................
70 dB (A) Washing Machine/Dishwasher....................... 78 dB (A) Midtown Manhattan Traffic Noise .................. 70
- 85 dB (A) Motorcycle..................................................... 88 dB(A) Lawnmower ...................................................
85 - 90 dB(A) Train ............................................................... 100 dB(A) Jackhammer/Power Saw ...............................
110 dB(A) Thunderclap ................................................... 120 dB(A) Stereo/Boom Box ..........................................
110 - 120 dB(A) Nearby Jet Takeoff ......................................... 130 dB (A)
Next Meeting: Monday
May 18, 7:30PM, Kings Harbor MultiCare Center, E. Gun Hill Road at Stillwell Ave - Use Main Entrance.
Agenda: Updates on Community Concerns.
from the 49th Pct; NYS Senator Klein; NYS Assemblyman Gjonaj; and NYC Councilman Vacca will be present.
Contractors must develop a noise mitigation plan prior to the start of work. Every construction site must
have a noise mitigation plan on location. If noise complaints are received, an inspector will ensure the contractor has posted
the plan and that it is being followed. This will determine whether or not the plan needs modification. When construction
activity is planned near locations such as schools, hospitals and houses of worship, the party responsible for construction
is expected to design their noise mitigation plan to be sensitive to its neighbors. Containers and Construction Materials.
Noise that exceeds the ambient sounds level by more than 10 decibels as measured from 15 feet from the source as measured
from inside any property or on a public street is prohibited. Sounds that occur abruptly for a short duration, called impulsive
sounds, are restricted. A reduction of only five decibels usually makes a noticeable difference to most complainants. Construction
Hours. Construction may occur between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm on weekdays. Alterations or repairs to existing one- or two-family,
owner-occupied dwellings, or convents or rectories, may be performed on Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm
if the dwelling is located more than 300 feet from a house of worship. Work may take place after hours and on weekends only
with express authorization from the Departments of Buildings and Transportation. A noise mitigation plan must be in place
before any authorization is granted. Emergency work necessary for public safety, or work that cannot be performed during normal
work hours, may occur after hours or on weekends. For example, water main or gas line repairs may require construction activity
outside the normal hours of construction.
ANIMAL NOISES Animal noise that is unreasonable and
plainly audible from within nearby residential property may call for enforcement action if the noise occurs: After 7:00 am
and before 10:00 pm for a continuous period of 10 minutes or more. After 10:00 pm and before 7:00 am for a continuous
period of five minutes or more
FOOD VENDING VEHICLES The Noise Code prohibits the playing of
jingles while any type of food vending vehicle is stationary. Vehicles may only play jingles while they are in motion.
AIR CONDITIONERS & CIRCULATION DEVICES Restrictions: A single circulating device may not produce noise
levels in excess of 42 decibels, as measured three feet from the noise source at an open door or window of a nearby residence.
To account for the cooling needs of new construction or shifting building populations, the Noise Code limits buildings with
multiple devices to a cumulative noise level of 45 decibels, as measured per the above standard. Qualified inspectors may
need to take several readings before enforcement can be deemed necessary.
MUSIC FROM BARS &
Commercial establishments that play music must limit the level of unreasonable or
disturbing noise that escapes into the streets or is heard in nearby residences by requiring that sounds levels may not exceed:
• 42 decibels as measured from inside nearby residences, AND • 7 decibels over the ambient sound level, as measured
on a street or public right-of-way 15 feet or more from the source, between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am. Sometimes residents are
disturbed by pervasive bass sounds that resonate and can be felt physically by a person. • Bass sounds measurements are
weighted in the "C" scale and may not exceed 6 dB(C) above the ambient sound if the ambient sound is greater than
REFUSE COLLECTION VEHICLES
Maximum sound levels may
not exceed 80 decibels when measured at a distance of 35 feet or more from the compacting unit of the vehicle when it is not
engaged in compacting a load of refuse. AND Maximum sound levels may not exceed 85 decibels between the hours of 11:00 pm
and 7:00 am within 50 feet of a residential property when measured at a distance of 35 feet or more from the vehicle when
the compactor is engaged. This standard will be reduced to 80 decibels in July 2012.
The Noise Code prohibits excessive sound from the muffler or exhaust of motor
vehicles operating on a public right-of-way where the speed limit is 35 mph or less. Excessive sound is: • Plainly
audible at a distance of 150 feet or more from vehicles of less than 10,000 lbs. (cars); and • Plainly audible at a distance
of 200 feet or more from vehicles of more than 10,000 lbs., (trucks); and • Plainly audible at a distance of 200 feet
from a motorcycle. The use of vehicle horns is illegal, except as a warning in situations of imminent danger. Residents may
request an evaluation to determine if a "No Honking" street sign would help.
COURTESY A majority of the city's noise complaints are reported as "noise from neighbor." By taking the few simple
steps below, you can help create a more livable atmosphere for your community. Be sensitive to your neighbor's space and remember
that one person's ceiling is another person's floor; try to keep noisy and disruptive activities to a minimum. Keep cell phone
conversations to a minimum in public spaces, especially in confined areas like public transit. Keep equipment levels down.
Televisions, stereos, musical instruments should be used at a reasonable volume, to avoid disturbing neighbors, especially
at night and in the early morning. Use power tools at appropriate times. Do as much as possible to stifle their noise and
check specific regulations for their use. The Noise Code specifically restricts the volume of car stereos in the public right-of-way.
Certain machines, such as lawn mowers and leaf blowers, may only be used between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm (or until sunset, whichever
occurs later) on weekdays; and between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm on holidays and weekends. To report a noise complaint, call 311.
For more detailed information about noise in the city and the law itself, please visit: www.nyc.gov/dep.
How to Report Suspicious Activity within the
NYPD 49th Precinct
Document all suspicious activity, including dates and times and description of potential perpetrators and their actions.
Be as specific as possible.
Get the names and contact information of all the neighbors who are complaining. Also ask them to document dates, times,
descriptions of suspicious activity.
Report the incident(s) to the NYPD 49th police precinct http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/precincts/precinct_049.shtml or
718-918-2026 (Crime Prevention Officer).
Attend a meeting of the 49th precinct Community Council (info provided in the above link, or call 718-918-2025 Community Relations
Officer.) You will be able to register to speak at the meeting about the issue. The Captain of the Precinct is
If you witness specific criminal activity in progress, call 9-1-1.
If the suspicious activity continues and police action is not taken, call 3-1-1 to report. You will receive a case number.
7. If still no action taken, go
to the Community Board #11, http://www.nyc.gov/html/cau/html/cb/bronx.shtml, or call 718-892-6262 with your case number from
3-1-1 and ask them to follow up.
How to Report
Suspected Vehicle Violations
Record the following from the vehicle: plate number; registration sticker expiration date; make and model. Describe
the condition of the vehicle; especially if plates are missing; windows are broken; doors are unlocked; etc.
2. Call Community Affairs Officer Jay Sturdivant
at 49th Pct at 718-918-2032; leave a detailed message and be sure to mention you are a member of the Northeast Bronx Assn.
Be aware that homeowners do NOT have special rights to any parking spots on any street in NYC.
4. If your report is deemed valid,
the NYPD will send an officer to investigate and determine if the car is legally parked. If it is not legally parked,
a summons can be issued; after which it can be towed.
If a vehicle is blocking your driveway you must call the NYPD and have a summons issued; after which YOU must call a towing
service to have the vehicle removed.
From Da Prez!
At our next meeting, I will have further updates on the continuing sagas facing
- Pelham Parkway North Reconstruction: The final plans
for this project are being submitted by the NYC Department of Design.
- Safe Streets: There have
been some concerns specific to our area, and there may be changes coming
- Hutch Metro Center:
Awaiting word on study regarding direct access to this area from the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Please pray for Louise's recovery from her recent surgery.
Louise is one of the leaders of our seniors group and the wife of our long-time member Frank. We miss you Louise, get
Almost Free Lunch!
about what could be the best meal deal in Da Bronx. For a suggested donation of $2.00 a fine Italian Chef will prepare
a nutritious gourmet meal for seniors at the Seniors Center at Our Lady of Mount Carmel at noon on weekdays. The Seniors
Center also has a full calendar of events every month and you can receive a copy of monthly menu and activities by calling
718-733-8852. The Center is located at 187th Street and Southern Boulevard in the heart of Littlie Italy in Da
What do you know...that we should know?
you are aware of any programs or events that would be beneficial to residents of our community, please contact us!
Bronx Day at NYBG
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Saturday, May 30, 2015; 11 a.m. -3 p.m. at the Garden's
Clay Family Picnic Pavilions Bring your lunch and join us for an afternoon of FREE: • Musical entertainment • Fun
events for the entire family-face painting and much more! • Health, finance, and education resource information kiosks
Advance tickets are required for admission. To receive your free tickets, send a self-addressed, stamped
envelope with number of tickets requested (6 maximum) to: Elizabeth Figueroa, Director of Community Relations The New York
Botanical Garden 2900 Southern Blvd Bronx, New York 10458-5126. For more information, please call 718.817.8990. Parking $15
Come and enjoy a garden paradise in your community! *No rain date; if inclement weather on May 30, please call 718.817.8990
An Excerpt from
the 1884 Memorial Day speech by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
"So to the indifferent
inquirer who asks why Memorial Day is still kept up we may answer, it celebrates and solemnly reaffirms from year to year
a national act of enthusiasm and faith. It embodies in the most impressive form our belief that to act with enthusiasm and
faith is the condition of acting greatly. To fight out a war, you must believe something and want something with all your
might. So must you do to carry anything else to an end worth reaching. More than that, you must be willing to commit yourself
to a course, perhaps a long and hard one, without being able to foresee exactly where you will come out. All that is required
of you is that you should go some whither as hard as ever you can. The rest belongs to fate. One may fall-at the beginning
of the charge or at the top of the earthworks; but in no other way can he reach the rewards of victory."
This Memorial Day, say a prayer for all who sacrificed their lives for your freedom.
Freedom is not free! God bless you and your families and God bless America!