The tour bus industry has flaunted New York City’s noise code for five years by using loudspeakers on open-air double-decker sightseeing buses. The repeated incursions of these buses at five minutes intervals , seven days a week, as late as 11 p.m. at night have made life of Greenwich Village and Hell’s Kitchen residents unbearable, and lost significant business to stores and restaurateurs by keeping foot traffic away on those routes.

Our elected officials have introduced a legislation to prevent licensing of buses unless they use headphone-limited sound reproduction systems. The bill gives the companies ample time (five years) to complete their fleet conversion, with a phased in approach: by July 2012, our neighborhoods will experience a 40% reduction in noise and 60% by July 2013. No new bus will be licensed without such a system.

Lobbyists for the double-decker tour bus industry are working to push back on the phased in schedule. We need your help to insure the City Council hears the voice of local businesses and residents as well and passes the law on Thursday, April 29th .

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keith rodan
13 years ago

A Quality of Life Issue:

One thing that would make living at 43rd and 9th Ave. nicer would be if the agents who direct traffic in the 42nd and 9th intersection could refrain from using their whistles.

With warm weather approaching, many of us in the area would like to open our windows and use our balconies. This pleasure is severely marred when we have to listen to constant whistle blowing. It’s not the sound of traffic, which is like white noise, it’s the incessant tweeting that’s distracting, and which spoils any enjoyment of being outside, and especially when trying to read, or simply relax.

Traffic agents do not need these whistles – as has been observed in busy intersections where some agents get by solely with hand signals. It’s only some agents, perhaps more insecure, who use the whistle – and they do it constantly. The other observed truth is that people in cars can’t even hear the whistle when their windows are up – which is in the winter, and even the summer, when they’re using air conditioning.

Talking to traffic supervisors and calls to 311 don’t help. Ditto the local police precinct. This is probably a matter to bring up at a Community Board meeting. There is also some hope that if enough residents complain to 311 or the CB that something may be done about this. Your comments welcome.