Mayor tells noisemakers to put a lid on it - or else

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The roar of motorcycles speeding along Astoria’s Shore Boulevard let up long enough last week for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to unleash the city’s latest weapon in its expanding arsenal of quality-of-life initiatives.

The target this time is noise, and six spots in Queens are among 24 zones citywide where authorities are cracking down on things loud, whether they be car stereos, air conditioners or bars and clubs.

“There’s too much destructive noise in our communities,” the mayor told a news conference Oct. 1 in Astoria Park, where his voice was sometimes drowned out by traffic passing along Shore Boulevard.

“Operation Silent Night,” as the multi-agency initiative has been dubbed, singles out locations that have been the source of frequent noise complaints logged by the city’s quality-of-life hotline, which Bloomberg said has received 93,000 noise-related calls this year, accounting for 83 percent of the call volume.

“Clearly we want to do more to make sure the city is as safe and quiet as possible,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

The effort is the latest in a series of quality-of-life campaigns Bloomberg has undertaken since the first days of his administration, beginning in early January with “Operation Clean Sweep,” which targeted such violations as panhandling, prostitution and public urination.

In July he launched a campaign to clean graffiti and arrest vandals in neighborhoods across the city, including Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside.

The latest announcement was made before the backdrop of the Triborough Bridge on Shore Boulevard, a river-hugging roadway that is notorious for speeding motorcyclists whose roaring engines can be heard across the neighborhood.

Kelly said plans of action laid out by the commanders of the precincts where the 24 spots are located focus on the problems particular to each area. Tactics will range from using sound meters to measure music emanating from clubs to establishing check points for vehicles, issuing summonses and, in extreme cases, making arrests and seizures.

“Each location will have a slightly different plan,” Kelly said.

Aside from Shore Boulevard and Astoria Park South, five other Queens locations are being targeted with stepped-up enforcement:

* 30th Avenue to Newtown Road between 30th Street and 33rd Street.

• 116th Drive to 118th Avenue between Sutphin Boulevard and 155th Street.

• Francis Lewis Boulevard between the Cross Island Parkway and Utopia Parkway.

• 147th Avenue to 147th Drive between 249th Street and Hook Creek Boulevard.

• 164th Street o 169th Street between 89th Avenue and Archer Avenue.

Queens civic leaders and politicians praised the measure.

“It’s probably the biggest source of complaints in my office — noise in the neighborhood,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria).

Rose Marie Poveromo, the president of the United Community Civic Association in Astoria, said noise problems have plagued the neighborhood for years.

“They don’t care that you have someone sleeping, they’re just going to blow their horns and gun the motors and the motorcycles are a huge problem,” she said.

“Obviously, anything we can do to lessen noise pollution is welcome,” said state Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). “This neighborhood is besieged.”

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:24 pm, October 10, 2011
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