For years, the deafening blast of the subway train's emergency air brakes has terrorized the good people around Astoria's N/Q stop at Ditmars Boulevard. Louder than the sound of a calloused hand stroking life into a Twin Cam engine, more startling than a premature needle drop on a well-worn Bad Company LP, and as routinely obnoxious as an all-caps Facebook post from your tipsy dad, the noise heralded the trains' change in direction as frequently as every ten minutes during rush hour. But one leather-bound lawmaker refused to bend his strident opposition to the aural injustice. Thanks to the efforts of Queens councilmember Peter F. Vallone, Jr., the MTA has announced that it's installing "noise dampers" on the cars of its N/Q lines.

The MTA decided to make the change after its technicians noted that the sound increased the "normal" level of ambient noise in the area by more than 10 decibels.

“This deafening noise has been scaring little kids, startling our senior citizens and damaging our ear drums for too long,” the councilmember said in a statement. “We commend the MTA for working to solve this problem and look forward to shopping, working and commuting near the Ditmars station without having this constant ‘ear-sore’ above our heads.”

Vallone's run for Queens Borough President earlier this year was unsuccessful, but if you play Molly Hatchet on an Applebee's jukebox in the full moon light, you might just enter the Vallone Zone once more.