Manhattan’s Parks are Dangerously Loud, Study Finds – DNAinfo.com
By Olivia Scheck
MANHATTAN — Is relaxing at your local park bad for your health?
A new study, co-authored by researchers at the Columbia University School of Public Health, found that noise in public spaces throughout Manhattan, including several small parks, exceeds healthy levels, the New York Post reported.
The areas are so loud that the noise can actually raise your blood pressure and make you more stressed even when you’re not aware of it, the paper said.
Midtown common areas, such as Paley Park on East 53rd Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues, the Tudor City Gardens on either side of East 42nd Street east of Second Avenue, and Greenacre Park on East 51st between Second and Third Avenues, as well as Jackson Square on West 14th Street and Eighth Avenue could all be as loud as 70 decibels, researchers said, according to the Post.
While 70 decibels is only about as loud as a normal conversation, the researchers emphasized the need for quiet spaces within the chaotic urban landscape, the Post said.
“People need quiet places where they can go and seek respite. These pocket parks aren’t providing it,” Richard Neitzel, one of study’s authors and researcher at the University of Washington, told the Post.
Overall, a whopping 98 percent of public spaces in Manhattan were found to be unhealthily loud, the paper said.
A study released by the same authors last year found that the subway riders could be incurring significant hearing loss from exposing themselves to noise trains.