Mayor B announces the noise code laws

Mayor Bloomberg introduced reforms to the city's noise code, making it easier for police to crack down on noisy areas, giving some a compelling case to call him "Mayor Boo-On-Your-Parade-berg." Or Doomberg, whatever. Yes, it's all about quality of life, and Gothamist loves a good quality of life, but some of the things... The NY Times has descriptions of what would be affected:

- Barking dogs would have 5 minutes to cease yapping at night, and 10 minutes during the day. (Currently there is no time limit.)
- Roaring air conditioning units, now mostly exempt from noise laws when in clusters, would be subject to stricter standards.
- Construction projects would most likely be curtailed on weekends and at night, and the industry would be asked to use equipment to reduce sound, like noise jackets for jackhammers.
- Ice cream trucks, accustomed to inching down city streets bleating out-of-tune childhood ditties, would have to lose their soundtracks by 2006, replacing them with the little bells of yore. (Taco trucks would meet the same fate.)

Mayor B thinks dogs can just stop barking after 5 minutes? No more Mr. Softee, trilling down the lane? If this, then when not ban those freaking car alarms? There's a fifth area the new noise codes would address - "More practical regulation of sound from commercial music sources," like bars, clubs, and cabarets...these laws are actually more flexible for bar/club owners and give them a chance to fix the issue after a first offense, instead of paying a fine.

Mayor Bloomberg actually consulted with the City Council (who will have to approve it later this summer), as well as construction and bar & nightlife folks, in developing these laws, so there is support behind it. And it seems like the public will be responsive, given that most 311 calls are noise complaints. The Mayor's earlier high-noise reduction effort, Operation Silent Night (which sounds like a black bag operation), began two years ago in high-noise neighborhoods, but the Mayor called OSN only "a Band-Aid." The new noise codes will now let police issue summons if the disturbance is "plainly audible," instead of needing to using handheld decibel counters. But what is excessive noise? Is it those annoying kids talking during a movie? The rumbling of trucks and buses down the street? The fire trucks outside your window, since you live near a firehouse? Or is it hearing your neighbors have sex at 2AM when you're in a dry spell? If you can't take the noise, why are you living in the city? Perhaps Gothamist is too used to the white noise of the city. But looking at this list of top noise complaints from the Daily News, many are not addressed by the new noise codes. Also, dog owners weigh in.

Read the Mayor's press release on the new noise codes.