Hey, there! Log in / Register

Boston is too damn noisy, councilor says

The City Council will look at how to curb noise in Boston - from screaming jets overhead to screaming, drunken tourists carousing through the North End late at night.

The council agreed with a request from Councilor Althea Garrison (at large) to look at just how bad noise is in Boston and what to do about it.

Garrison cited excessive noise from construction in this booming city as well as blaring music from parties and festivals. She said excessive noise not only damages hearing but causes sleep disturbances and anxiety.

Councilor Lydia Edwards quickly signed onto the hearing proposal, saying two of her three neighborhoods - the North End and East Boston - suffer in particular from loud noise. In the North End, she said, neighbors have to put up with the overflow from "every single concert" at the Garden, as well as roughly 2 million tourists a year, many of whom don't seem to realize anybody actually lives there. "Far too many people are seeing us as a tourist attraction, rather than the neighborhood we are," she said. East Boston, meanwhile, continues to suffer from loud jets using Logan Airport.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
Ad:

Comments

build more condos.

up
Voting closed 14

i liked seeing a string of complaints from people who moved into the luxury apartments DIRECTLY adjacent to TD Garden about excessive noise and public drunkeness. its almost like its a bad idea to live outside a major arena if you value quietness and calm. so i don't really feel bad about the north end. east boston's jet thing is a whole other animal.

up
Voting closed 42

There are limits and controls you would expect and there are laws that are ignored.

up
Voting closed 9

this is the exact same bullshit that happens across the country where people move to new luxury condos that are close to $ReallyCoolBar/MusicVenue because they are a cool neighborhood for night life and then they use HOAs/other orgs to shut down $ReallyCoolBar because it "makes too much noise" and then they kill the entire reason their neighborhood was good.

sorry about your city life, maybe don't live near bars if you don't want to deal with noise from bars.

are you gonna complain that fenway gets too loud at night next??

up
Voting closed 31

Yep, my neighbors complain that Fenway is too loud. And that we should move the ball park because it creates too much traffic. Yet, they also oppose dedicated bike lanes, more money for public transit and, oh yeah, fun.

up
Voting closed 14

It is reasonable to complain about turning it into a concert hall, etc

up
Voting closed 9

I lived within earshot for five years in the mid-1980s. Probably less a nuisance than the idiot magnet clubs in Kenmore, but still loud.

The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay types (NABB = nasty assholes, bullies, and bitches) - the original yuppies - were the only thing louder with their constant whining about Fenway and how student housing groups in the brownstones devalued condo property.

Never mind that the MIT student housing in the area had been there for much of a century and Fenway as well.

Too funny when people complain about things that were older than their grandparents.

up
Voting closed 13

Problems don't have to be younger than your grandparents to be worth fixing.

In my experience, most neighborhood complaints about Fenway are things a reasonable person would agree with. Like asking stadium security not to dump belligerent drunks out into the neighborhood. And making sure cars parked at hydrants and too close to driveways get towed.

up
Voting closed 14

So you're saying people should move right next to where belligerent drunks gather and then complain about being near belligerent drunks?

up
Voting closed 3

The problem isn't belligerent drunks gathering. It's mismanagement by stadium security.

It's a few people behaving so badly they get thrown out of the stadium. But stadium security doesn't want to deal with the police, so they push them out the door and make it the neighborhood's problem.

And yes, I do think people have the right to complain about something bad in their neighborhood, even if the bad thing was there first. Otherwise, nothing would ever get improved.

up
Voting closed 3

ok but it would be different if this was a quiet residential neighborhood that the opening of a new large music venue disrupted. in this case there is a MASSIVE tourist attraction surrounded on all sides by restaurants and businesses. residents made the informed and conscious decision despite that to move to this neighborhood given its name is FENWAY. obviously things could be tighter because that's just life, but also MLB corporate has really kind of stepped up in the past 2-3 years to make Fenway a safe, clean experience for famlies. obviously there's still tons of hammered sports fans around but if you think this is bad i don't think you were around the stadium in the 80s/90s. this is leaps and bounds above that.

i'm genuinely sick of people moving to be "in the middle of everything" then realizing after the fact that they don't actually enjoy being in the middle of everything but its now everybody else's problem.

up
Voting closed 4

It's worth $0 if it's not for sale. People like that are pond scum.

Seriously, if you think the property value is going to decrease, then sell it, you moron. I hear the Pine Street Inn does some fine work in helping to shelter people. They send a van down to Harvard and Comm and everything.

"Hey, government, put up barriers to someone having a (expletive) place to live so that you can protect my investment for me." (Expletive) off.

up
Voting closed 4

Back Bay != Fenway and "the MIT student housing in the area" = frats on Beacon in Back Bay. Stick to what you know please.

up
Voting closed 4

There are in fact MIT student living groups that are right in between Back Bay and Kenmore and could be considered in either. And non-frats too.

up
Voting closed 5

If you're talking about west of Charlesgate along Comm or Beacon, that's Kenmore.

If you're talking about east of Charlesgate, that's Back Bay.

Neither is Fenway.

up
Voting closed 4

Two FSILGs are on The Fenway.

up
Voting closed 3

People have been buying condos next to long-running music venues for years, and then tried to get the venues shut down.

Also, this is what happens when you have concentrated areas full of bars, and make it difficult for neighborhood bars to operate.

up
Voting closed 12

Somebody needs to take away the Council's pearls.

Boston is very quiet compared to most cities, especially at night.

If you want the convenience of having an airport right next to downtown, you're going to have to live with jet noise.
If you want all the money that comes from having 2 million tourists a year, you have to deal with the noise of 2 million tourists. If you want the money that comes from having a large event venue downtown, you have to live with the noise of thousands of people leaving events.

If the noise of other people living their lives bothers you this much, move to the northern Maine woods.

up
Voting closed 57

Do new condos in Eastie have to have the Massport sound proofing? Does Massport pay for that?

up
Voting closed 4

Most of the new condos and apartments being built in East Boston are in Jeffries Point and the Maverick Waterfront. Both are not in a flight path.

The parts of Eastie in a flight path, Orient Heights and the Wood Island area, are not seeing as much development.

Although parts of Southie are in a flight path yet that isn't stopping values from skyrocketing there.

up
Voting closed 4

Ask massport for a white nioise machine, they deny request and send you a map of a flight pattern that reports the noise does not impact you. You can open it in your yard while watching landing gear drop on a plane over your house 3 miles away from airport.

up
Voting closed 2

And there are a lot more larger jets coming in and out, so the noise pollution has increased.

Every restaurant adding French door style windows is also a change that has altered the neighborhoods from being busy, to busy and loud, where sound of every interior is also heard in the public.

People live here and have for generally longer, and had relative peace despite concentrations, than out in the McMansion suburbs.

up
Voting closed 7

Actually, the trend towards larger and louder jets is dead. Look at Boeing and Airbus downsizing their fleets of Jumbo jets in favor of much smaller wide-body twin engine jets. Also, much of the recent technological innovations in commercial aircraft design have gone into creating much quieter engines (and in the case of rare supersonic innovation, the ability to break the sound barrier, while cutting down on sonic boom.

up
Voting closed 7

How about filling the potholes and repaving streets more than once every 50 years? The loudest sounds I hear in Boston are trucks trying to drive across the pock-marked roads. This echos off the nearby buildings and is incredibly loud, especially dump trucks!

up
Voting closed 28

Sure. How do you want to pay for that? How about we raise the parking permit cost from $0 to $200? That sounds like a start to me.

I like the potholes. Its the only thing that stops Boston drivers from speeding.

up
Voting closed 14

Boston has this effed-up arrangement with utilities where they're allowed to rip up any pavement that they want and then just "repair" it as they see fit, which of course involves throwing in a bit of hotpatch and giving it a smooth down with the back of a shovel. That's how the streets get in this shape. On the upside, in my experience on my street at least, when I complained about the incredibly bad state of my street after a constant round of this foolishness, the whole thing was repaved in fairly short order. I have to conclude that they investigated, found that the street was in truly shit shape, and responded appropriately. I think it would be reasonable for the city to do this more proactively rather than waiting to be prodded by residents (or maybe better still, cancel this arrangement with utilities and require the utilities to fully fund proper repairs of every hole they dig, overseen by the city), but it's something.

up
Voting closed 3

It's just not obvious to the layperson. They do try to minimize anything within 5 years of a resurfacing. But if work needs to happen in the street, the requesting party goes through the routine of asking pretty please with the expectation that the repair will meet the City's standards.

https://www.boston.gov/departments/public-works/roadway-resurfacing-boston

source: am in construction, and even went through this process 2 summers ago on a street that had been recently redone, within 5 years.

Admittedly, the repair is not always up to snuff and the road becomes crap faster. Ideally the city holds some money back from the contractor who did the crap job.

You can look up the current listing of streets about to be resurfaced here: https://www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/sweeping/Resurfacing.aspx

up
Voting closed 3

HAHAHAHA who am I kidding, they won't lift a finger, carry on motorists.

No person operating a motor vehicle shall sound a bell, horn or other device, nor in any manner operate such motor vehicle so as to make a harsh, objectionable or unreasonable noise

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Sect...

But hey, good argument for congestion pricing.

up
Voting closed 27

1. Cars with horns that honk every time someone arrives or leaves. This is ridiculous in a dense residential neighborhood.

2. Trucks with the backup safety beeps, used in crazy "boy who cried wolf" amounts, defeating their purpose. Workers can't tell, because their hearing is or will be shot. There is extremely frequent beeping in my neighborhood throughout the day, sometimes starting before 7am right outside my bedroom window after working late.

3. Leafblowers. Rich people who hire landscapers to come by while they're not home don't realize these guys are just making a show of it. For every hour one burns by waving around a leafblower on a tiny yard, that's

4. Dumpster trucks. Heaven help you if a landlord owns a few apartment buildings on a block, puts the single dumpster and recycling bins outside your window (not one of those buildings) rather than next to one of his buildings, resulting in 4 trucks per week, and 3 of those keep trying to sneak in before 7am, like no one will notice being jarred awake by a huge truck bouncing a dumpster up and down.

These are all jerk moves, not necessary.

up
Voting closed 14

Honking when you lock your car should be illegal. By law, horns are for emergencies only.

I've taken to shhhing people who honk their horn when they lock their car. (Non-angrily. There's a big difference between an angry shhh and a polite one.)

up
Voting closed 1

Drivers are the noisiest thing about Boston and its not even close. Incessant(and illegal) horn honking. Music blasting. Engines revving. Car alarms going off all the time. If the city council is serious about noise then they need to do what it takes to enforce laws and reduce the amount of cars in the city.

up
Voting closed 12

You could easily Pedestrianize the North End. Get rid of cars between Commercial Street and the Greenway.

up
Voting closed 10

Loud motorcycles are a huge problem downtown in the summer. They're much noisier than cars.

up
Voting closed 3

Every day I walk from the financial district to south station and all I hear are car horns and car alarms. But you calling out the loud music is just racist. Check your white privilege ma'am.

up
Voting closed 2

Councilor Althea Garrison (at large) (unelected)

up
Voting closed 7

.

up
Voting closed 3

City Hall Plaza events use Blasting Booming Loudspeakers. Making conversation is too difficult.

up
Voting closed 6

Maybe they could consider the noise in the neighborhoods from helicopters, loud music being played in back yards and recreational areas not to mention the deafening fireworks all summer long and any other time during the year they feel like setting them off?

up
Voting closed 4

...those goddamned summer fireworks. There's some jackass in Washington Park/Fort Hill area that seems to set off 1-2 BIG ones off every goddamned night for the entire summer. Hoping they just blow their hands off. I don't know how their immediate neighbors haven't had a throw down.

up
Voting closed 11

I'm an immediate neighbor of said jackasses. We've been asking them to stop for decades. They don't.

We have discovered that calling 911 doesn't do anything, including when the smoldering debris was landing on my deck and in my tree. The 911 operator said they aren't interested in coming out for behavior that has not yet lit my house on fire, as they are busy with robberies and murders.

We did discover that calling directly to the local fire station results in a fire truck showing up, firefighters hopping out of the truck, walking over silently and taking all of the fireworks, getting back in the truck, and driving away. The jackasses didn't visibly react and there were no more fireworks at least last year. I will be doing this every year.

up
Voting closed 10

It’s so garsh darn loud outside I can’t hear meself read!

up
Voting closed 1

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/mapping-bostons-soundscape/

If you want to find out how loud your Neighborhood is download the app NoiseScore developed by Ms. Erica Marshall referenced in my linked article. I'm not sure if she's still collating the data but it is a handy app to have, It's free at Google Play and whatever they call Apple's app store.

Thankfully my Neighborhood Mattapan is one of the quieter areas.

up
Voting closed 4

Noise, loud parties and drunks at 2am are indeed an issue. But a little odd to hear the North End, with festivals all summer long and restaurants literally every other storefront, then declare "Far too many people are seeing us as a tourist attraction, rather than the neighborhood we are,"

up
Voting closed 3

Have they not been to NYC?

up
Voting closed 3

I dormed on Huntington avenue when I moved here for college. I was expecting that there would be excessive noise.. Its part of city life. If I didn’t want to deal with noise, I would’ve looked for collleges outside the city. It’s the same with housing, you have to know what you’re signing yourself up for

up
Voting closed 4

Respectfully, what other cities have these Councilors lived in?

up
Voting closed 3

Noise Free America
A coalition to promote quiet
https://noisefree.org/

up
Voting closed 0