Legislation seeks to make NYC a bit quieter

Most New Yorkers know about being woken up at night by construction. The City Council has just passed a bill designed to get us our beauty sleep. What does this mean for you?

It is a big city—one that doesn't get built without a lot of work, noisy work. But can it get done without disrupting our sleep? When it comes to the rules, even longtime New Yorkers seem hazy on the details.

Here are the rules and you might not like it: construction sites can have at it between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. And, boy, do they.

But here is the catch: sites can get an after-hours permit to carry on, even before 7 a.m. and after 6 p.m. And they're allowed to do it even on the weekends. Permits are granted for things like emergency repairs. But some lawmakers think the permits, called variances, and being handed out far too easily these days.

Coming to the rescue is Council Member Ben Kallos, whose bill has just been passed. The bill seeks to turn down the volume during the off hours that construction sites aren't taking off, whether it be on the Upper East Side or across the East River in Queens or back across to Manhattan's West Side where construction seems never-ending.

The bill requires the sites keep the noise level below 80 decibels. For those of us who don't speak audio geek, a food blender is 88 decibels. Anything equal to that or over it would be against the law.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill. Once he does, it becomes law in three months.