Noise cameras coming to the Upper West Side

Photo credit: Momos, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

The Upper West Side of Manhattan registered as many as 25,000 noise complaints to 311 this year, CBS New York reported. That phone number, 311, is a non-emergency phone line for government services and information. Undoubtedly, many of these complaints involved loud honking horns and illegally-modified car mufflers. 

Thus, Upper West Siders will likely be delighted to know that two noise cameras will be placed in their neighborhood to identify noise made by loud trucks and cars. Councilmember Gail Brewer acknowledged how important it is for the city to work toward lowering noise levels.

The cameras, according to the Department of Environmental Protection, will capture the license plates of vehicles exceeding 85 decibels from at least 50 feet away and the owners of these vehicles will be issued violations. The first offense for the noise violation will be $800 and the number goes up with continuing violations.

As indicated in earlier posts, these two noise cameras are part of a larger pilot program that DEP introduced two years ago to reduce noise emanating from loud vehicles, which has been the source of complaints from many New Yorkers for years. I am looking forward to reading DEP’s first reports on how well the noise camera pilot project is doing.

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