When Drums Start, 121 Decibels Measured; Nearby School, Restaurants Livid

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The noise and drumming at “Occupy Wall Street” could actually be dangerous. That’s the opinion of a noise expert CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer took to Zuccotti Park on Wednesday.

However, Mayor Michael Bloomberg still appears to be tone deaf to the problem.

It may be music to the ears of the Wall Street protesters, but the drumming and other noises at Zuccotti can reach dangerous levels. Noise expert Alan Fierstein used a decibel reader a recorded an ear-splitting reading of more than 121 decibels — compared to only 79 before the drums started up.

“It will reduce your threshold of hearing. In other words, it gives you temporary hearing loss. Continued long enough it become permanent hearing loss,” Fierstein said.

Kramer found the reading across the street near a bank of restaurants still high — 107.4 decibels. It’s so loud they’ve had to keep their doors closed.

“The noise too much. We can’t take it, driving me crazy all the time,” restaurant worker Ricky Martinez said.

Even at a high school diagonally across the street from the drummers the noise level was 30 decibels above what it should be which experts said can certainly impede learning.

“Thirty decibels is roughly eight times as loud as the sound that should be in a classroom,” Fierstein said. “It interferes with people’s ability to hear the teacher, to concentrate.”

City Council member Margaret Chin said she is inundated with noise complaints from her constituents who live near Zuccotti Park, but the city isn’t doing anything.

“We want Mayor Bloomberg to do something to help alleviate the noise,” Chin said.

So Kramer put the question to Mayor Bloomberg.

Kramer: “Today, we went down with a noise expert who measured the decibel level.”

Bloomberg: “Way to go. We would have done that for you. You didn’t have to go and spend Channel 2’s money.”

Kramer: “But the question a lot of people in the community have is why not enforce the code?”

Bloomberg: “We can take away the drums and take away the people and you won’t have the noise. We’ll refocus our efforts. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. It’s really useful.”

But while the city dithers the beat still goes on at Zuccotti Park.

Although the drums are limited to certain hours, Councilwoman Chin said the protesters play other instruments as late as 1 a.m.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (14)
  1. Andrew Nutra says:

    OWS: playing 60s radicals they saw on TV because the liberal arts degree they mastered in is not doing them any good in a down economy. Well guess what? Drumming and kicking out the homeless and ex-cons will not help you either. This is a land of opportunity not guarantees. Maybe you shouldn’t have borrowed $200K to master in Medieval Eastern Ugandan poetry.

  2. Andrew Nutra says:

    When I was their age, I used to work hard to make a living. I never demanded anything. It was and still is the land of opportunity not guarantees. That’s what happens when kids grow up in the age of instant gratification (iPods, on demand movies, computers, etc. etc.). “I want a job now, and I ain’t working with my hands and I ain’t taking minimum wage either!”

  3. Andrew Nutra says:

    That’s why no one wants to be the OWS leader. When everyone disperses come winter no one wants to be stuck with the legal and cleanup bills.

  4. SokrMom says:

    The idea that the noise made by a bunch of people and some drums, in the middle of New York City, is “harmful” is complete nonsense. Moreover, it seems like ordinary Americans need to make quite a bit of noise to avoid being drowned out by banks, corporations, lobbyists, the 1%…

  5. mak says:

    I actually MISS Rudy Guiliani. He would’ve taken care of this two months ago.

  6. Jim Halpert says:

    If you want to support OWS consider buying some of my OWS shirts.
    100% of proceeds are being donated to the OWS Movement.
    Check them out here:

    1. Andrew Nutra says:

      Here’s one OWS member who’s not afraid of working! This is a land of opportunities, not guarantees. OWS is a waste of time but I applaud your entrepreneurship! GOOD LUCK!!!

  7. Albert Right says:

    The OWS Movement has collected over $600,000 in donations so far, and yet the homeless are shunned from partaking in their 5-Star Chef prepared meals…

    How about… Occupy a Soup Kitchen?
    Get more ows facts on my site:

  8. King of Garbage says:

    jews run the media. So have to take every story on OWS (as well as many other issues) where it comes from.

  9. mj says:

    man theyare REALLY scraping the bottom of the barrel now looking for a reason to shut this down lol. it MUST be starting to work if they are geting tghis desperate

    1. Andrew Nutra says:

      Yeah, I can picture bankers at their annual strategy meeting quaking in their boots now, discussing how they’ll give back all their money because of the drumming and raping. Oh yeah, please pass the grey poupon!

  10. liz says:

    I don’t know what it will take for this HORRIFIC mayor to actually take some action against these protesters that are destroying a neighborhood! This is thee most spineless, God awful, embarrassing, selfish, dangerous, YUTZ, PUTZ, disgusting mayor that we ever had! IT IS JUST ENOUGH! I thought Dinkins was bad – but Gloomberg is far worse Just outrageous!!

  11. The Realist says:

    So-called “dangerous noise levels” are IRRELEVANT. The City has already set a precedent by which the protesters are fully exempt from all laws, so no action can ever be taken.

  12. Joe Sarcasm says:

    These lazy bums are going to enjoy a beautiful winter, rent free, in Zuccotti Park. They are going to be having the time of their lives risking arrest, being demonized in the media, living in canvas tents, hunched over small heaters, sleeping on the cold ground, eating small scraps of food, not bathing, and having to use bathrooms that are so disgusting even convicts wouldn’t use them.

    Yup, that’s the life. These folks are on easy street now!

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