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Re: new noise laws

Posted by Fred Lappert on October 25, 1997 at 08:25:54:

In Reply to: new noise laws posted by Mark on October 24, 1997 at 22:57:09:

: does anyone have, or know where to find on the web, the new laws
: reguarding NOISE from the enviornmental control board?

Call your local city councilperson or community board and ask for a
copy -- chances are it's an amendment to the NYC Administrative Code.

But it's all a joke, Don't expect these laws will be enforced -- they
can't even enforce the existing laws. There's not enough inspectors and
most cops refuse to enforce these laws -- it's not enough macho for them.

Stasi did an article in this week's Voice.

From the Hip: Quiet Down
No noise is good noise

by Linda Stasi

I'd go out and scream the praises of the new
ordinance that will make it a hugely expensive
quality-of-life offense to make noise in New York
City, but I can't afford the fine.

The City Council, in an attempt to be even stricter
than Mayor G. (not to be confused with Mister G.),
has proposed giving out big fines to anyone accused
of making excessive noise. ''Excessive'' in this case
being jackhammers before and after dark, radios,
car horns, car alarms, animals, motorcycles, bars,
and air conditioners that groan on interminably.
Tragically, the proposed law does not include
politicians who do the same.

Here's how it will work: Take car alarms for
example. The first time someone attempts to break
into your car, and the alarm goes off for more than
five minutes (or not enough time for the cops to
arrive), you can be fined up to $250. If you live in a
high-crime area, and your car gets broken into on a
regular basis, the city may clip you up to $500 for
the second break-in. The third can cost you up to
$750--not counting the repair job on the smashed
windows and busted door locks.

The downside of a quieter New York, of course, is
that you could go broke trying to protect your

But even this isn't as bad as it seems. For one thing,
it may force you to get a third job so you can move
to a better neighborhood. Of course, you will no
longer be able to afford a car, so it all works out for
the best. Really.

If you can afford to garage your car in the first
place, you needn't concern yourself with any of this.

I'm poking fun, but as the official president of the
NYC chapter of the Polite Police, I can't help but to
(quietly) applaud the new measure. I have no
patience for egomaniacs who make noise. Why, for
example, must I be forced to listen to other people's
choices in music? And can anyone explain why loud
people think that screaming outside a bar validates
their existence? Or why one human believes that
another human has an unrelieved desire to hear their
dog bark all day and night? What empowers
enraged drivers to imagine that honking in gridlock
does anything more than shatter the quiet of a

Hang 'em high!

But I'm worried that in reality the city may not be
able to enforce the new antinoise ordinances with
their huge and wonderful fines. See, the glitch in the
council's measure is that there are nearly 8 million
people (not counting commuters) making noise in
the naked city, and there are only 34 environmental
staffers assigned to give out fines. It's enough to
make you scream.

I mean, they can't keep up with the quality-of-life
crimes already on the books, let alone the ones that
are going to be added. We still have rogue pretzel
venders on unassigned streets, do we not? And how
many times have each and every one of us tried
calling for an environmentalist while coming off the
Deegan onto the ramp to the Third Avenue Bridge?
No one in history, in fact, has ever escaped without
getting good and squeegeed despite the fact that it is

And really, do you think that these already
overburdened 34 environmental types will be on the
job at 3 a.m.? ''Hello? Noise patrol? Sorry to disturb
you at this hour, but the guy next door has an air
conditioner that really gets on my nerves. Do you
mind coming over and getting him out of bed and
slapping him with a fine of up to $4200? Thanks so
much. And have a nice night.'' It can be tricky, not
to say downright dangerous.

I have an idea, though. Since we keep being told
that there's no more crime in the city, why not cut
the police force in half and assign all the laid-off
cops to quality-of-life patrol? Then no one will ever
again be able to say, ''You can never find a
ticket-giving environmentalist when you need one.''

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