Monday, July 09, 2007

New Yorkers driving each other crazy

Local & Regional

New Yorkers driving each other crazy
July 9, 2007
By Xana O'Neill and Lisa L. Colangelo
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Barking dogs, ice cream trucks and jackhammers make New Yorkers hold their ears — but it's our neighbors who really drive us crazy.
"Residential noise" was the top complaint of callers to 311 in the first five days after the city's tough new noise code went into effect.Of 6,942 complaints from July 1 through July 5, almost half — more than 3,400 — concerned loud music, TVs, voices and other sounds coming from their neighbors' homes.
"They had music so loud, it sounded like a disco," griped Sonia Anderson, 55, a city Finance Department worker who couldn't sleep because of a neighbor's blaring stereo.
Anderson lives in the Hamilton Heights section of upper Manhattan, where 311 recorded the most noise complaints — and residents said they regularly live in misery from their neighbors' noise.Subway worker Gary Branigan, 42, had to call the cops to get his neighbors on West 149th Street to muzzle their stereo this weekend.
He said he didn't think the noise crackdown was having an effect."I don't know if there is less noise or I'm just getting used to it," Branigan said.
The second-most common noise complaints were about sounds from the street and sidewalk, with more than 1,300 calls for loud boom boxes, arguments and late-night gatherings.
"It is the noisiest place — the cursing, fighting, shooting and, last but not least, the loud radios," said Anthony Smith, 38, superintendent of four Hamilton Heights buildings. "A lot of my tenants have moved over the years — all related to the noise."
City officials said the new code makes it easier to crack down on noisemakers, in part, by setting lower decibel levels and requiring noise-abatement plans at all construction sites.Cars, businesses and barking dogs rounded out the top-five subjects for 311 noise complaints.
Tom Galati, 36, said he has had it with the cars that roar past 149th Street and Broadway at such high speed they rattle his house."It gets to the point where I want to throw nails on the street," he said.
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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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