New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has unveiled an anti-noise plan that seeks to muffle everything from barking dogs to jackhammers, even Mister Softee trucks. The goal is to adopt a more common-sense approach to solving noise problems, the top complaint of callers to 311. Now, cops must employ expensive decibel meters in response to noice complaints. The new protocol keys on whether noise is “plainly audible.”
The plans targets bars at which music is “plainly audible” from 15 feet beyond a club’s property line; dogs that bark for more than 10 minutes during the day and five minutes after dark; engine-revving vehicles “plainly audible” from 100 feet away and motorcycles from 200 feet away; Mister Softee and other food carts that are “plainly audible” from 50 feet away; car alarms that blare for three minutes or more; air conditioners louder than 80 decibels when measured from 3 feet or more away, and early-morning lawnmowing. New restrictions also would be place on construction site noise.