From the Wall Street Journal:
Head to Queens Plaza South and 23rd Street in Long Island City for a symphony of sounds: cars whizzing off the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and three above-ground subway lines converging, the No. 7 train squealing above all as it makes its way around a bend. Metal tires grinding on a metal track: It's like nails on a chalkboard times 10.
Benjamin Sachwald, a sound expert, grimaces. He is director of acoustics, noise and vibration for AKRF Inc., a consulting group that helped revise the city's noise code when it was last updated. (He is also a former heavy metal rocker who plays the drums with no shoes on. He's looking for a new band.)
Mr. Sachwald meets me at Queens Plaza South and 23rd Street with his trusty sound-level meter, a handheld digital instrument he has used in hundreds of locations across the city over the past seven years to determine the magnitude of noise levels for myriad projects—luxury high-rises, office buildings and even schools.
He holds his instrument up for a reading. At the peak, when the train is lurching around the corner, the reading is 93 to 95 dB(A). (In sound engineer speak, that is A-weighted decibels, but let's just call it decibels from here on out.)
"That's very loud," he says. "Very loud," he repeats.
"It's painful," he says, above the din.
To give you an idea of how loud that is, a rock concert comes in at 120 decibels. The threshold for pain is about 140 decibels.
That's funny, I thought we were spending ~$40 million dollars to transform Queens Plaza into a park where people would take leisurely strolls and quiet lunch breaks. A place where cosmopolitan-type folks will come from far and wide to shop at stores and gaze at millstones.
You mean that was all a crock of shit?