Monday, October 26, 2009

Rumblers for the urban jungle

This is a story that needs to be told. On Sunday, the NYPD quietly announced that their fleet of patrol cars are being upgraded with "The Rumbler" a powerful siren that can be heard and felt. Here is now the news media is generally reporting it:

NYPD car sirens to vibrate

Here is what they are not reporting:

The vibrations can be heard and felt up to 200 feet away and can travel right through glass and solid objects. According to its manufacturer Federal Signal Corporation, the siren "have the distinct advantage of penetrating and shaking solid materials allowing vehicle operators and nearby pedestrians to FEEL the sound waves, and perhaps even see their effects through a shaking rearview mirror."

In other words, this ear-splitting noise will be heard and felt by motorists, pedestrians and people in their own homes and apartments at a level that can cause permanent hearing damage (the company even advises operators to wear hearing protection) and seriously disrupt their lives and ability to sleep at night. The NYPD purchased and installed the equipment with no oversight, no public hearings, and with no evident liability for the massive noise pollution they are about to inflict on New Yorkers, all in the name of public safety.

The media and legislators are not asking critical questions and New Yorkers are going to pay for that when the sirens are in widespread use by the police. People assume that noise pollution is an irritant or an annoyance, but noise pollution is a public health issue and it is adversely affecting residents. For people who live near any of the dozens of police precincts around the city and the boroughs, this is going to be an acoustic nightmare.

The NoiseOFF website has a section on The Rumbler to serve as a warning about the unintended consequences on this technology. You can see it here (you can also download the company product sell-sheet to see how this is marketed to police departments nationwide):


The comments above are my own and you can quote me.


Richard Tur

P.S., was founded in Astoria, Queens -- the perfect storm of urban noise pollution.


Anonymous said...

one sure way to get the middle class to move to the suburbs

Anonymous said...

Just what we need here in the borough of airports where much of the citizenry is already subject to the cumulative ill-effects of a lifetime of excessive noise. And, of course, more typical Bloombergianism - put into effect without any discussion of the merits and drawbacks with those to be affected nor any respect for their rights as citizens to have their views considered BEFORE implementation. Let's send him packing next week. Just say "NO" to Bloomberg and vote for the other guy on principle. Vote for democracy, not Bloomberg.

Adolf Bloomhitler said...

Vat? I can't hear you!

georgetheatheist said...

Maybe Mike Nussbaum at the Tribune can get the girls in the whore houses to offer this as a sex service.

Jade Lily: Ooo you likee noise velly much on your peepee?

Anonymous said...

Its NYC.. if you can't deal with the noise.. leave.. its that simple

And as of now its in Manhattan only so its their problem

Queens Crapper said...

1) It's harmful to human health.

2) It's not necessary.

3) There were no public hearings.

4) "Its NYC.. if you can't deal with the noise.. leave.. its that simple" was never an acceptable excuse in the NYC I grew up in.

5) "And as of now its in Manhattan only so its their problem"

Like none of us work in Manhattan or pass through there for any reason. And if it is in Manhattan, it will be here soon.

Troll argument FAIL.

Anonymous said...

My poor suffering dogs. Now it will be like Independence Day fireworks every day. What genius civil servant came up with this one. I'd want to write him a letter.

Anonymous said...

can't be as bad as the assholes who blast their (c)rap music and shake my house and never get a ticket.

Anonymous said...

If people had learned to pay attention while driving, and pull over when they see flashing lights behind them, maybe this wouldn't have been necessary.

Newtown Pentacle said...

The 5 things that I thought about are
1) Who will witness multiple car alarms being set off en masse and symphonically?
2) What number of shaky building sheds and century old facades will rain down onto the sidewalk?
3) Where the biggest pile of fun will be- sitting near this in traffic- in front of the siren, or to the sides?
4) Why the effect this will have on Dogs and other critters, which will literally bite whoever approved this in the ass, isn't considered?
5) How the unguessable health and environmental effects of daily exposure to pulsing infrasound aren't even considered?

Anonymous said...

Could we describe this as a Bloomy failure? His solution for a city where unreasonable noise accounts for a majority of 311 complaints to the NYPD, make more noise. Ain't he special?

Anonymous said...

Regular police sirens come with a warning label too that they can be bad for the operator of the vehicle.. they're just making a big deal about this for no reason. Keep wasting you time getting upset over stupid things

Car #54 said...

Real smart you flatfoots!

So I call to complain about a loud party and Officer Toody & Muldoon pull up in their ear splitting squad car.

Anonymous said...

Achtung...achtung...Bloom-fuhrer's Gestapo become noise polluters too!

Third term/third Reich!

Anonymous said...

If people had learned to pay attention while driving, and pull over when they see flashing lights behind them, maybe this wouldn't have been necessary.

Exactly. I hope they put it on fire engines and ambulances too.

Since when do we have public hearings regarding police or fire equipment? Were there hearings when the PD changed from Crown Vics to Malibus? When Highway added Dodge Chargers? STFU about having public hearings. There are some things the public is better kept out of because liberal whiners wouldn't know what's good for them until it hurts them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, well it was inevitable that Richard Tur would be complaining, but if, heaven forbid, he had a heart attack and the time saved by a Rumbler made the difference between him being revived BEFORE brain damage sets in rather than after, I wonder if he would still complain.

Queens Crapper said...

How do we know this will save time?

I think it would scare the bejesus out of most people and cause them to freeze behind the wheel.

Anonymous said...

It's a 100wat subwoofer,It's not that loud.It only sounds a 10 second burst,low frequency is omnidirectional,that is why it is being implemented.........Btw the systems in the savages vehicles are usually 250 watts per subwoofer,stop whining!

Anonymous said...

Queens Crapper said...
"How do we know this will save time? I think it would scare the bejesus out of most people and cause them to freeze behind the wheel."

The idea of the Rumbler is to get the attention of idiot motorists who are so wrapped up in their cellphone conversations or so deafened by their pointlessly loud sound systems, that they won't or can't pay any attention to the existing horns and lights on emergency vehicles. Anything that gets these motorists out of their trances is a good thing, and anyone who is THAT startled by this thing has no business being behind the wheel in NYC to begin with. Driving in any major city simply is not for pussies.

Besides, I don't see people freezing in panic when some fool in a boom car pulls up next to them playing gangsta' rap at 140dB. Do you?

I'm surrounded by noise here too. In the time it took me to type this I heard a couple of railroad trains, a convoy of fire trucks and a couple of very loud commercial diesel trucks. Let's break this down...

The loud trucks exist because of decades of pandering to the trucking industry, and because folks like Tur seem to think the only loud vehicles out there are motorcycles and boom cars. How he thinks this when he lives just yards from a truck route, I just don't know {shrug}. His NoiseOFF web site doesn't give the issue much attention.

The railroad trains are getting better, I'm happy to report. Recent track and bed improvements have greatly reduced the noise and rumble. Eventually I'll just move though.

But emergency vehicles? I would NEVER question their decision to make as much noise as they think they need to make to get through traffic. Lives depend on it. Your lives and mine. The lives of the people they're attending to and the lives of the people at every intersection that have to cross to get there.

It is unfortunate that this escalation is necessary, but it does seem necessary.

Queens Crapper said...

What I'm saying is not that they'd be scared of the noise, but by the vibrations. It's not something you normally experience unless you're driving past a construction site.

Anonymous said...

Crappy, you're just looking for something to complain about at this point. This is such a non-issue.

Queens Crapper said...

I didn't complain, I asked a question. If you think it's a non-issue then that's your prerogative. I don't swallow everything the way some people do.

Trixie said...

O-o-o-o-o-h...feels so good...
woof, woof, woof...that low frequency sub woofer's vibrations!

Keep it comiing!

Anonymous said...

A dumbass wipeass idea!

More wasted tax money.

Anonymous said...

We residents of Maspeth don't have to worry about that noise. The 104 precinct is never in our end of town.