311 Seems To Be A Joke…

So far this week, I’ve made two noise complaints on the 311 website about the honking in the neighborhood. One on Saturday and one yesterday. While the response, or turnaround time has been fairly quick (ie: complaint sent to the appropriate police precinct), the results have been nil. I have received this response:

“Your Service Request was closed.

The Police Department responded and upon arrival those responsible for the condition were gone.”

Granted, Saturday is the ONLY quiet day in my neighborhood, I described the issue, hoping that perhaps someone would arrive during the hours and days of the week that I mentioned in the complaint. I guess that was my mistake for filing the complaint on Saturday. I realized this after calling my police precinct and talking with the nice/helpful switchboard operator. He suggested making a complaint on the very day/time that the noise is occurring. So, I made a complaint yesterday afternoon when the Avenue was backed up because of a few double parked trucks and the honking continued off and on for a few hours (thirty seconds of silence is unheard of). I had mentioned in my complaint that if a police car were to just sit at the intersection for a brief amount of time, then they’d witness/hear the noise. The complaint was submitted at 3:54pm and closed at 10:32pm.

SIGH.

I guess the police have more pressing matters (??) in Kensington and Boro Park to deal with than to post someone at a busy intersection to monitor unnecessary noise. I’m not sure what needs to happen next. Do we need to educate drivers about noise pollution? Or, should the city re-evaluate it’s decision to remove (because they stated they needed to comply with the “No honking” signage at street corners? A snippet of my email response last March from the NYC DOT:

“New York City Traffic Rules prohibit the honking of vehicle horns except when necessary to warn a person or animal of danger. Therefore, signs are not needed for this purpose. These signs detract attention away from essential traffic control devices. Additionally, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), the federal standard for signs, signals, and pavement markings in the United States, does not recognize these signs.  As a result, the Department has commenced the removal of existing “Don’t Honk” signs.

Unnecessary noise is a violation of the New York City Noise Control Code and carries a fine of $350. Police officers and traffic enforcement agents should issue summonses to any vehicles found to be in violation of these regulations. If you believe that there is an ongoing problem of motorists illegally honking horns at this location, please contact the local precinct.”

How can this Code be enforced? If no one gets ticketed, then what’s the point of having the code in place? Are drivers unaware of this noise code? Does there need to be some re-education here about this matter?? Are drivers just idiots who don’t give a shit? Or, if this were a more affluent neighborhood, would this even be an issue (meaning, would the police issue tickets to drivers in violation of the Code)? (the median household income as reported in 2013 is $44, 304.) These are hypotheses I will continue to explore and post my findings on this blog. In the meantime, I am going to contact (again) the DEP about this issue.

To be continued….

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