While New Yorkers have now focused their ire on SantaCon, this summer, the city’s ice cream trucks were driving everyone mad. DNAinfo reports that in 2014, 1,804 residents logged complaints in the city’s 311 system — which is “nearly 200 more than all the complaints for 2013.”
Here are some of the complaints:
“I can’t take it anymore,” a despondent Washington Heights resident wrote to 311 on April 28.
“The repetitive ice cream truck music is driving my wife and I insane. It doesn’t wax and wane — at some point between 9 and 10 p.m. every night since the start of Spring my wife and I have been greeted by this unrelenting demonic jingle.”
A Bedford-Stuyvesant resident described a Mister Softee truck’s song as noise pollution that’s worse “than neighbors blasting music.”
“It’s insane and loud as f—,” the resident wrote in a 311 complaint on June 2.
Last year, one Harlem resident tried to write out the beat of a terrible ice cream truck jingle in a 311 complaint, describing it as, “Dum dada da da dum da da dum dum, dum dada da da dum. Dum da dum dada da dum dada dum dum, dum da da dada dum da dum.”
“No matter when it is, it’s very loud and terribly annoying as I try to study!” the resident wrote in the April 28, 2013, complaint.
A Brooklyn couple also told a 311 operator on June 3, 2014, that they were losing their mind from the repetitive songs of several ice cream vendors parked outside their building all day.
“Noise is causing mental anxiety to customer and husband,” the operator wrote in the 311 note.
The complains may be up, but the number of citations are down from the previous two years. A city official from the Department of Environmental Protection claimed that more truck drivers are complying with the rules. Or maybe they’ve gotten into a passive aggressive battle with the angry residents, and are on the winning side:
“We do try to respond to all complaints,” the official said. “But sometimes it’s very difficult. The driver could have not been complying with the noise code, but once the inspector gets there, nobody is breaking the law.”
(Photo: Tomás Fano)