Shhhh… A Look at New York’s Ongoing Battle With Noise

June 7, 2016

New Yorkers may be surprised to learn that they do not live in the world’s loudest city. That dubious honor goes to Mumbai where noise levels have been known to reach close to 124dB. To put this figure into perspective, 124dB is somewhere between the sound levels typically reached by chain saws (120dB) and the take off of military jets (130dB). But this is not to suggest that New York City is easy on the ears. New York’s midtown traffic (75dB to 80dB), screeching subways (80dB to 100dB on average measured from an indoor platform) and jackhammers (110dB) all contribute to its status as one of the noisiest places on earth.

Ahead is a fun and fascinating timeline of New York City’s 100-plus-year war on noise, as well as some tips on how to find a quiet neighborhood if you want to emulate life in the ‘burbs without sacrificing the cool and convenience of the city.


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