Since the introduction of 311, the ease of complaining about noise is certainly greater; but the frenetic pace of building in New York is also contributing to a skyrocketing number of complaints by residents that construction noise is out of control. The New York Post reports that complaints for after-hours construction work grew ten-fold between 2001 and 2006, from 635 to 6,160. After-hours construction is defined as work done before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m. In a city where some occupants raise disputes over too-heavy footfalls by neighbors to epic residential battles, the introduction of power tools and the noisy work of construction is making some New Yorkers nuts.
"I got woken up at 1 a.m. the other night. A jackhammer or drill like a machine gun," complained a bleary-eyed Stacy Rauch, 48, a resident of 30 Park Ave., which has been under near-constant renovation since October 2005.
"I've gone through a bottle of Advil in three weeks, a 250-pill bottle, and that's not good for you."
We've endured months-long construction projects that had plaster dust falling from our ceilings, so we can certainly empathize with that woman. There's not much that can be done. The average response time to construction noise complaints was just under 40 days in 2006. That figure was reduced in the first months of 2007 to just over a week. Beginning in July, a new code is going into effect that requires "noise mitigation plans" when construction is being done in a building. We can't wait to hear more about that, or less.
(Construction on 4th Ave Park Slope, by Squid Ink at flickr)