Midtown West Side Residents Meet to Mitigate Noise

On May 1, members of the community met with officials to discuss noise on Manhattan’s Far West Side. At the table, left to right, are Kimberly Williams from Con Edison, Michael Moccia from Con Edison, Colleen Chattergoon from the DOT, Humberto Galarza from the city Department of Environmental Protection, Carl Wilson from  Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office, and Jesse Bodine from CB4. Standing ins Matt Green from Johnson’s 0ffice. | Photo by Rania Richardson

BY RANIA RICHARDSON | In a city with rampant development and a strained infrastructure, it seems like everywhere you turn there are construction sheds, blocked sidewalks, and the earsplitting sound of jackhammers.

But no neighborhood is as concentrated with work as the Special Hudson Yards District, roughly from W. 30th to 41st Sts., between Eighth and Eleventh Aves., where real estate behemoths are laboring day and night to extend the Midtown central business district westward with new offices, hotels, and apartment complexes.

When local resident Julia Campanelli received notice in early April that Con Edison would be working on 33rd St. between Ninth and 10th Aves. from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for many weeks, she mobilized her neighbors and contacted local officials.

Through the office of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, she requested a town hall-style meeting where the community could speak to city agencies and other officials regarding the all-night noise and other matters of concern.

On May 1, about 25 residents met with representatives from Con Edison, the city Department of Transportation, the city Department of Environmental Protection, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Community Board 4, as well as Brookfield Properties, the developer behind Manhattan West, a project located in the vicinity of the Con Edison work.

“This has been going on for years,” Campanelli said, referring to noise in the area. “Asking us to go without sleep for months at a time is a serious health issue.”

The requests on Campanelli’s agenda included specifics regarding new work hours, adherence to scheduled work dates and times, noise mitigation, compliance with legal noise levels, and input by residents when new phases of work are planned.

A fervent discussion ensued, with some community members furious with the prolonged sacrifice they are making in their quality of life. The room agreed to a final list of proposals, to be addressed by the representative organizations in the next few days.

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