BHB Stalwart Andrew Porter Sounds Off About Helicopter Noise

Last week the New York Times asked for comments on noise complaints. Loyal BHB reader and commenter Andrew Porter had this response, which the Times approved:

The noisiest things here in Brooklyn Heights are the helicopters, whether NYPD one hovering over accidents on the BQE, Brooklyn Bridge or other trouble spots, or the ones passing by en route from LaGuardia to Newark, which don’t bother to fly over the East River as required by law.

Recent changes in flight paths of arrivals and departures from the Wall Street helipad have lessened the noise, to some extent, from that source of many problems.

Anyone have a different complaint?

Photo by Chuck Taylor for BHB.

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  • Jorale-man

    Since you asked: Car horns on Clinton Street. Has a honk ever made a NYC driver actually speed up? Or compelled a driver to plow through a right turn regardless of a pedestrian in the cross walk?

    I agree with Andrew though, the helicopters around the Promenade are a nuisance.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    It’s not just Clinton, sadly. In advance of any NYC intersection there appears to be this magical thinking, or perhaps it is a childish expression of impatient boredom, that sounding the horn is somehow a solution to lack of forward motion. And as I understand, it’s actually illegal here, or it was, and totally unenforced. I still remember when there were signs on Henry warning of a $250 or $300 fine for honking.

  • Jorale-man

    I remember those signs too. There was one at Clinton & Joralemon, in fact. The city removed it just as traffic was starting to get heavier on the street (though I realize it did zero good as it was never enforced).

  • Eddyde

    Often the problem is drivers are texting while at the light and need a little honk to snap them back into reality. A quick tap usually does it but unfortunately, some drivers are too heavy handed.

  • meschwar

    That’s the real problem. Horns serve an important purpose, but no problem was ever solved by leaning on your horn for 10+ seconds that wouldn’t be solved with a quick “beep beep”.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I’d contend that even in the case of a car stalled due to texting or some other idiot purpose, the honk, even a quick tap, is unnecessary. Nobody except emergency responders are in such a big hurry that those five or even ten seconds are worth more than the obnoxiousness rendered by the car horn. If it was as loud inside the car as outside, drivers would likely reassess their priorities.

  • Eddyde

    LOL Really, just how long is one supposed to quietly wait for some idiot to complete their episode of self-absorption, 10, 20, 30 seconds, miss the light?
    Sorry, but my time is valuable, I’m not going to needlessly waste it, I wait 3 seconds then it’s a short beep.

  • Andrew Porter

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments.

    About car horns: Across the street, someone let’s someone know it’s time to come down to the car by blowing their horn—at about 7:30am.

    In the summer, with the A/C on, this is not as annoying as during cooler months, when my window may be open.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    If I’m walking past? Be a doll and wait for the next light. ;)

  • Eddyde

    The folly is, even if I were to grant your request, the person behind me would most surely not.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    A guy can dream…

    I do want to point out that there are parts of the world where people seem to have successfully weaned themselves off the horn in traffic.

  • B.

    That used to happen when I lived on Ocean Avenue, near Kings Highway — the limo driver would honk and honk. One morning, the honking went on for longer than usual, so I did the Brooklyn thing, which was to yell out the window, “Ring the doorbell!”

    The grumpy lady who lived above me, whose loud TV set reverberated into my apartment about 20 hours a day, chimed in, “Yeah, yeah! Ring the doorbell!”

  • KXrVrii1

    I agree that the time savings are meaningless… but the need for a quick beep to jolt someone out of their slumber is as primal as the need to stand up the moment the airplane seat light goes off on arrival (which is just as useless.)

  • Roberto Gautier

    Beijing seeks to put an end to noisy traffic by implementing the city’s first-ever automated system that will identify and penalize drivers that excessively use their horns.

    Described as a “sonar system,” drivers who indiscriminately honk their horns will be triangulated by a computerized system of microphones and cameras that will record their license plates.

    “The detectors consist of three parts, namely, a microphone array acquisition device, an electronic capture, and a LED prompt system,” said Li Jianfeng, deputy director of the Scientific and Technical Information Department of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.