News & Politics

Researchers Say Noisy New York Is Really Noisy


In news that makes you say “WHAT?!”: Columbia researchers now say that 98 percent of noise in Manhattan is at unhealthy levels. You can say that again, but no one can hear you because it’s way too noisy in this damn city. Although we all have drunk screaming hooligans outside of our windows (don’t we?), it’s the noise in the background that’s mainly contributing to this.


Some of Manhattan’s noisiest spots were along the city’s truck routes: along First Avenue above 14th Street and along Broadway in Inwood. Times Square and East Midtown were also among the most cacophonous corners.

Oh, really, Times Square and trucks are loud?

The way they conducted this study was by sending people out into the urban jungle with noise monitoring headphones. Noise complaint data was analyzed to come up with the best spots to survey, and measurements were taken from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

This is, of course, the tragic flaw of the study. The researchers are missing the noisiest spot of all. Try sleeping on the second floor of a building across from Webster Hall on Ladies Night. Nothing’s louder than the warbling 3 a.m. mating cry of a drunk girl screaming, “WHY WON’T HE LOVE ME???” Except maybe the answering sound of a dude puking in a trash can.


Archive Highlights