When you think of New York City, what are some things that come to mind? Energy, cabs, pizza, the subway, and lots and lots of people, right? What about the ever-popular call of the police siren? That’s most certainly a sound synonymous with the Big Apple. Unfortunately, when you have a large city, like New York City, there’s bound to be crime. So, police forces are necessary. That’s why the police siren has become such a staple of the city. At any given moment while traversing the sprawling metropolis, you can be greeted with the loud and overbearing done of the police siren. It’s a classic. But it might be going away.
According to Newsday, lawmakers in New York City are looking to change the classic, American style of police siren and opt instead for the subdued police siren commonly found in England. For those unfamiliar with a traditional American police siren, imagine a very loud and boisterous siren constantly making a WAAAAAAHHH-type sound. For those unfamiliar with English sirens, they are far more subdued, characterized by a much more fluctuating WAH-ing sound.
According to the same article, one lawmaker in support of the change, Helen Rosenthal, claims that she’s received multiple complaints about the shrill-sounding sirens, stating, “I’ve been hearing from constituents complaining that the current sirens in New York are a high-pitched, continuous noise — a nuisance.”
Unfortunately, with such a large city, noise is unavoidable. As it stands, noise complaints are some of the most common to make their way to the city’s hotline. But that isn’t to say that the level of noise can’t be reduced, at least a bit. This proposed siren bill is one step towards that goal. Obviously, sirens aren’t the only contributors to noise pollution. Construction, large vehicles, traffic jams and people in general all contribute to the city’s overwhelming decibel levels.
The bill looks to work quickly, with all NYC emergency vehicles requiring the change in siren sound within two years. This is of course assuming that the bill gets approved.
I’m interested to see what New York City will be like with this new siren sound. It would help reduce the noise level, sure, but a major staple of New York City’s culture would be gone. What are your thoughts?