NY1 For You: Village Residents Still Demand Vacation From Tour Bus Noise
Some Greenwich Village residents say there is no end in sight to tour buses taking over their neighborhood and creating noise pollution. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following report.
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For years, residents in Greenwich Village have said the noise of tour buses is driving them crazy and threatening the quality of their lives.
"It's persistent, pervasive noise that continues to invade our homes," says resident Barbara Backer.
NY1 For You first covered the issue back in 2008, when residents complained about the noise coming from the double decker diesel engine tour buses that travel down Bleecker Street every three to five minutes, all day long.
"The diesel engines are very, very noisy, coupled with the microphone noise," says Backer.
"I’m never able to open my windows or doors. I can hear every word that they say," says resident Judith Chazen Walsh.
"As you can hear the traffic going by now, the buses are twice as loud with just their engines alone before they even start to do the tour," says resident Maureen Remacle.
Besides the problem of noise, residents say the streets are difficult for the buses to maneuver through. Common obstructions include cars parked on both sides of the street, bike lanes and road construction.
"The width of the lane that the buses must travel down is 10 feet. The buses are eight feet,' says Backer. "This leaves very little room for maneuverability for people on bikes, for people trying to cross, so it’s dangerous."
A current bill calls for all new tour buses to have standard microphone head set devices starting in 2012, which will eliminate the blaring loudspeakers. Buses currently in existence can continue to be relicensed into 2022, at which point every bus would need to be in compliance.
It's good in theory, but residents say the 12-year wait for the implementation date is intolerable.
"I’m not worried about dying before 2022. I’m worried about living with the bus noise until 2022," says Walsh.
CitySights and Gray Line are among the many tour buses running through the neighborhood. NY1 reached out to Gray Line New York Sightseeing Company, which owns both bus lines, and President Thomas G. Lewis said in a statement, “CitySights and Gray Line are proud of their record of zero noise violations and are committed to working with the City to address any particular neighborhood concerns. Some unpleasant sounds by garbage and other heavy trucks, ambulances, fire, police and other emergency vehicles, as well as by tour buses, are a consequence of living in New York.”
NY1 For You will continue to follow this story.
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