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October 2, 2002


Quality of Life Initiative Targets Areas Plagued
by Loud and Excessive Noise

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced Operation Silent Night, a new coordinated Citywide quality of life initiative to combat loud and excessive noise in New York City. The program will target 24 zones plagued by chronic and disruptive noise throughout the five boroughs. Noise complaints account for a vast majority of the calls received by the NYPD's Quality of Life Hotline. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Christopher O. Ward, Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt, and Senior Advisor Vincent La Padula joined Mayor Bloomberg at Astoria Park in Queens for the announcement.

"As we continue to attack offenses such as prostitution and drug dealing to improve New Yorkers' quality of life, we must also target other chronic and disruptive problems like noise," Mayor Bloomberg said. "Operation Silent Night aims to effectively fight and control the loud, excessive noise that plagues too many neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. This coordinated, multi-agency initiative will specifically target those locations where noise adversely affects our everyday lives so New Yorkers may live, work, and enjoy the City in peace."

"Excessive noise is a problem that can be difficult for police officers to deal with in a comprehensive manner," Commissioner Kelly said. "What's smart about Operation Silent Night is that it focuses our resources on the places where the problem is most obvious and egregious. By working together with other agencies, we can use every enforcement tool at our disposal - criminal and non-criminal - to have a positive impact on quality of life."

"Noise complaints in New York City are increasingly an indicator of a lack of civility and urban disorder," said Commissioner Ward. "DEP is working to update the City's noise code to reflect this new set of issues and to vigorously enforce the code in those communities most often plagued by excessive and unnecessary noise."

"Car alarms, boom-boxes, and incomplete construction projects create unreasonable noise conditions that affect the quality of life of every New Yorker," La Padula said. "Today, Mayor Bloomberg continues to raise our standard of living by cracking down on noisy New Yorkers."

Operation Silent Night will concentrate enforcement efforts on those areas where loud and excessive noise is chronic and most disruptive, with the first phase focusing on 24 high noise zones throughout the City. Noise complaints currently range from noise emanating from bars, clubs, restaurants, and car and motorcycle engines and horns, to music from personal stereos, automobile sound systems, and storefront speakers, to disorderly groups and individuals. The zones were selected based on the high volume of noise complaints to the NYPD's Quality of Life Hotline in these areas, as well as information gathered from local precincts. The sites targeted for the initial crackdown include locations in Soundview and Morris Heights in the Bronx, Flatbush and Bushwick in Brooklyn, Greenwich Village and Washington Heights in Manhattan, Queens Village and Astoria in Queens, and St. George and Tottenville in Staten Island. Additional locations beyond the original 24 sites will be identified and targeted in subsequent phases of the long-term initiative.

Enforcement measures will vary according to specific noise conditions in each identified location, and may include sound meters, vehicle checkpoints and monitoring at intersections, towing of vehicles, seizure of audio devices, summonses, and arrests. For example, in areas where restaurants or bars generate disruptive noise, the City will employ sound meters to measure the level of noise, tow illegally parked vehicles of patrons, and issue appropriate summonses for vehicle, alcohol, and noise violations. In executing these plans, the Police Department will receive coordinated assistance from other City agencies, including the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Buildings, and the Department of Parks and Recreation. As part of the new initiative, the NYPD will monitor noise conditions at these locations through Compstat and hold precinct commanders accountable for addressing complaints from neighborhood residents. In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection is working to amend the City's noise code to decrease the proliferation of air conditioning and cooling system that generate excessive noise and to make the code more specific to make enforcement more effective.

Operation Silent Night will begin on October 4th. Last year, noise complaints comprised approximately 83% of the 97,000 calls received by the NYPD's Quality of Life Hotline. This year, the Quality of Life Hotline has already received more than 93,000 noise complaints. To report loud, excessive, or disruptive noise, please call the NYPD's Quality of Life Hotline at (888) 677-5433.

The complete list of 24 enforcement zones follows:

Westchester Avenue - Leland Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue
East 158th Street to East 161st Street - Sherman Avenue to Walton Avenue
East 187th Street to East 189th - Lorillard Avenue to Belmont Avenue

Parkside Avenue to Linden Boulevard - Bedford Avenue to Rogers Avenue
East 76th Street - Ralph Avenue - Flatlands Avenue (triangular area)
East 15th Street to East 19th Street - Avenue L to Avenue N
Saint John's Place - Ralph Avenue to Howard Avenue
Saint Mark's Avenue - Grand Avenue to Classon Avenue
Wilson Avenue - Flushing Avenue to Troutman Street

MacDougal Street - Bleecker Street to Minetta Lane
Bleecker Street - LaGuardia Place to Thompson Street
1st Avenue - East 1st Street to East 2nd Street
5th Avenue - 132nd Street to 135th Street
Broadway - LaSalle Place to 125th Street
Broadway - Arden Street to Dongan Place

164th Street to 168th Street - 89th Avenue to Archer Avenue
147th Avenue to 147th Drive - 249th Street to Hook Creek Boulevard
Francis Lewis Boulevard - Cross Island Parkway to Utopia Parkway
116th Drive to 118th Avenue - Sutphin Boulevard to 155th Street
30th Avenue to Newtown Road - 30th Street to 33rd Street
Shore Boulevard - Ditmars Boulevard and Astoria Park South

Westervelt Avenue and Richmond Terrace - York Avenue to Jersey Street
New Dorp Lane - South Railroad Avenue to Hylan Boulevard
Arden Avenue to Jefferson Boulevard - Nedra Lane to Woodrow Road

Contact: Ed Skyler / Jerry Russo
(212) 788-2958
Michael O'Looney (NYPD)
(646) 610-6700