Volume 80, Number 18 | September 30 - October 6, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

File photo

“Crowd surfing” in the mosh pit at a punk rock concert in Tompkins Square Park this summer.

C.B. 3 says nabe is getting punk’d by loud concerts

By Lesley Sussman

Community Board 3 has asked the Parks Department to take steps to mute the sounds of amplified music in Tompkins Square Park on weekends, and to limit the number of concerts.

The weekend afternoon concerts have hit a sour note with many residents who live on E. Seventh St. directly across from the park, according to C.B. 3, which, according to board representatives, has been fielding phone calls from irate neighbors complaining about the high volume of music at these events.

At the Tues., Sept. 28, full board meeting, a proposal was approved with no discussion calling for the Parks Department to clamp down on the noise volume of these concerts and schedule them only one day per weekend or at other park locations, such as East River Park. About 100 residents attended the 6:30 p.m. meeting,, which was held at P.S. 20, 166 Essex St.

C.B. 3 Chairperson Dominic Pisciotta said there was no reason to hold any discussion because, as he noted, “We’ve already moved on this.” He added that the community board had yet to hear from the Parks Department regarding the issue.

The resolution calls for the Parks Department to “return to amplified-sound-free weekends,” adding that the “extremely loud music” was “assaulting the senses” of many residents who live across the street from the park.

C.B. 3 recommended that the Parks Department “baffle the sound” by constructing some type of soundproof barrier behind the concert stage, or require that concert promoters do so.

“Whereas the Parks Department formerly had a policy limiting the number of concerts each month, it now appears to book concerts without a plan and sometimes back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday,” the resolution said.

“Formerly there were Parks Enforcement Patrol, New York Police Department, and sometimes Department of Environmental Protection monitoring; there currently is no enforcement of monitoring, whereas people in the area are suffering from abnormal levels of noise pollution each weekend,” the resolution continued.

A Parks spokesperson told this newspaper on Wed., Sept. 29, “For several years, it has been Parks’ policy that permits are not issued for events involving amplified sound during two weekends each month at Tompkins Square Park. We will be working with the community board and others to address concerns that any permitted concerts be kept to a reasonable volume. We will also continue working with the N.Y.P.D. and D.E.P. on this matter as they are the agencies that enforce the city’s Noise Control Code.”

An aide to Councilmember Rosie Mendez, meanwhile, said that complaints about loud concert music in the park have leveled off recently.

“A few months ago we got a lot of complaints,” she said, “but recently only one or two.”

John Penley, a veteran East Village activist, said he plans to hold a speak-out in Tompkins Square Park on Halloween at 7 p.m. to decry the Parks Department’s policy on amplified sound for concerts.

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