Nadat hij de rokers allemaal het café uit heeft gewerkt regent het klachten over geluidsoverlast in New York. De burgemeester reageert daar op als een boksbal: onderdrukken dat geluid!
Dus nu gaat hij verbieden dat ijswagentjes nog jingles draaien en honden mogen nog slechts maximaal één uur per dag blaffen.
In een commentaar in de New York Post wordt de draak gestoken met de burgemeester en zelfs het VS-breed opererende CBS TV-station publiceerde een top-10 van oplossingen tegen geluidshinder.
Mayor Bloomberg says 1,000 noise complaints a day — from offenders like Mister Softee ice-cream trucks and yelping pooches — justify a major overhaul of the city’s noise code.
What he doesn’t say is how many kids brighten up at the sound of the Mister Softee jingle, which he’d curb. Or how many ice-cream-truck drivers rely on it for their livelihoods.
Mayor Mike gives no figure for the number of dog owners who rely on the companionship of their pets — but would be hard-pressed to keep their barking within Hizzoner’s short time limits.
He makes no mention of the sometimes life-saving benefits of the air conditioners he’d outlaw, the social pleasures at the bars and nightclubs he’d muffle or the economic boost from sometimes loud development and repair work he’d regulate.
Nor does he speak much of the cost to bring such activities into compliance.
Let’s get real here: New York is a city.
A large, vibrant and, yes, noisy city.
“Noise disturbs our sleep, prevents people from enjoying their time off . . . [and] often leads to altercations,” argues Hizzoner. But if it’s quiet he seeks, well . . . that’s why God made Montana.
OK, some noise regulation is not entirely ludicrous, even in hustle-and-bustle New York.
And after three decades, it’s probably time to revisit the code.
Nor is it clear that Mayor Mike intends to play Mommy Mike in regulating noise as he has with smoking.
Rather, he may have learned from the uproar over his tobacco ban and his shelved plan to license late-night clubs.
Indeed, joining Hizzoner to present the noise-code plan were two potential foes on this issue — Robert Bookman of the New York Nightlife Association and Francis McArdle of the General Contractors Association. Even City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, a likely mayoral challenger, joined in.
Clearly, Mayor Mike wants to skirt confrontation this time around.
But achieving “balance” won’t be easy. One idea, for example, is to give cops more discretion. Will that mean more harassment of businesses and individuals — a la the city inspectors who raid shops in search of contraband ashtrays?
Will it mean Mayor Mike has a new revenue-raiser to help plug budget gaps?
Of course, if all of this sounds petty, maybe it’s because Gotham is used to far weightier woes — like, say, drive-by shootings and 2,000-plus murders a year.
Such horrors seem to be history now: The murder toll has been less than 600 for two years running.
But overregulation — noise cops on top of health-care monitors and ashtray police — will create its own blight.
Gotham is again a great city.
But it’s a city; let it live as one.
Top Ten Things New Yorkers Can Do To Reduce Noise
10. If you plan a drive-by shooting, you must use a silencer
9. Don’t scream because you see a rat; only scream if a rat bites you
8. If you see someone with the hiccups, kill ’em
7. Use gentle whisper when telling someone to go screw themselves
6. Check into a hotel instead of having sex in the alley
5. Elect a mayor who’ll let people smoke indoors again
4. Tell construction workers, “Turn off that damn jackhammer!”
3. Quietly remove jackhammer from your ass
2. Fewer angry beatings – – more stabbings
1. Put Regis on decaf