What About all the Helicopter Noise?

New York's busy airspace can be an inescapable nightmare for residents who experience noise pollution on a daily basis.

February 26, 2021, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Helicopter New York City

Ian Morton / Flickr

Concerned about the negative impacts of the noise and pollution caused by helicopter travel in and around New York City, a Brooklyn council member is demanding an investigation into the pros and cons of allowing so much helicopter traffic in the city's airspace. "Council Member Brad Lander put in a preliminary legislative request for such a "'cost-benefit' study after the legislature’s Economic Development Committee took up a bill this week to consider limiting helicopter companies’ use of city-owned heliports to slightly lower-noise vehicles." Gersh Kuntzman reports that according to Landers, the city is putting the interests of "tourists and well-heeled travelers" ahead of residents who deal with the noise on a daily basis.

At a recent hearing, the Economic Development Committee stated that the helicopter industry offers meager revenue for the city, providing only "a few dozen jobs and $2- to $3 million per year in revenue." Council Member Lander contends that "the quite significant human harm of helicopter noise and pollution has not been calculated." Lander suggests a "misery index" to gauge the amount of disruption and distress faced by New Yorkers due to noise and pollution. According to the city's 311 logs, "the number of complaints about tourist and commuter helicopters rose nearly 270 percent, from 840 complaints in 2017 to 3,094 complaints in 2019."

Monday, February 22, 2021 in StreetsBlog NYC

Los Angeles Skyline

New Study Ranks the Urban Heat Island Effect in U.S. Cities

A new analysis by Climate Central evaluates the intensity of urban heat islands in cities around the United States—New Orleans tops the list.

July 15, 2021 - WBUR

Adams Morgan pedestrian zone during COVID-19 pandemic

The Most Complete Map of U.S. Pedestrian Risk Yet

New research published by the Journal of Transport and Land Use analyzes tens of thousands of pedestrian fatalities over 16 years in the United States.

July 20, 2021 - Streetsblog USA

Dallas Freeway Removal

The Freeway Removal Cause Gains Momentum—But Don't Forget Gentrification and Displacement

The case for freeway in urban areas isn't as unequivocal as it might seem. Plans to undo the damage of the legacies of past freeway planning need to ensure an inclusive future.

July 14, 2021 - Los Angeles Times

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.