- The Washington Times - Monday, January 31, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) — At a hearing on a proposal to quiet down the Big Apple, Mister Softee had a frosty response.

James Conway Jr., whose father started what is now one of the world’s largest mobile purveyors of soft-serve ice cream, said such a plan would silence his trucks’ familiar jingle and freeze company profits.

“The way you knew Mister Softee was in the neighborhood was the song. So without the jingle, our sales will plummet,” Mr. Conway said at a City Council hearing last week.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is trying to revise the city’s noise code in response to what has long been the No. 1 complaint of New York residents: The city’s too loud.

At last week’s hearing, the proposed revisions ran into a virtual wall of sound: Nightclub owners were displeased about the prospect of having to turn down their music, restaurateurs were worried that their air conditioners would be too loud, and construction workers said they should be able to continue to use pile drivers and jackhammers at will.

“Metal smashing against rock,” explained Francis McArdle, managing director of the General Contractors Association, “is inherently noisy.”

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