East Side Democrat Keith Powers on Wednesday introduced six bills to address growing noise concerns across the city, including one proposal to create a “photo noise violation monitoring device program” similar to the city’s existing speed and red light camera initiatives.
These “noise cameras” that detect and ticket illegally loud vehicles could solve the problem, according to Powers. “New Yorkers live in the city that doesn’t sleep, but they still have the right to a good night’s sleep,” Powers said in an interview.
Powers stated that noise complaints to the city’s 311 hotline have skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are up 241 this month compared to Oct. 2019, according to city stats provided by the councilman’s office. He attributed the rise in complaints in part to white-collar workers spending more time in residential neighborhoods.
“People have been working from home and staying in their neighborhoods and we get a constant barrage of calls from constituents who are complaining about noise complaints outside,” he said.
The noise cameras would “capture an image when they hear a certain noise at a certain disciple,” Powers said, noting that the Department of Environmental Protection is already testing the technology. Powers’ other proposals include new requirements for certain noise levels for helicopters that use city-owned helipads and permits for after-hours debris clean-up.