Stemming Subway Noise

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to the editor:

i would like to comment on the july 16 article concerning subway noise (education update, "subway noise can damage hearing"). more than a year, i addressed a letter to mayor bloombergabout two types of subway noise. i received no response. i am hoping that your article and/or this letter will motivate someone or some group with ability to lobby for and/or effect relevant changes. the paris subways run on rubber wheels. why can't we convert-at least by phasing in replacements, if not by retrofitting? to be fair, i don't know if this would require modification of the tracks, but my suggestion never received a reply that change was not feasible; in fact, i received no response other than perhaps a form letter or email of general acknowledgement.

a second, easily addressed subway noise is the "entertainers." despite my personal feelings that i may not want to be involuntarily exposed to some sorts of music, i believe that the right to freedom of expression may prevent banning such activities. however, the city does have anti-noise ordinances and it can easily be stipulated-and enforced-that the volume not exceed "x" decibels at 10 feet (or whatever) from the performer. the noise of many of these entertainers, as well as that from the trains, is sufficient to damage hearing.

seymour herschberg, m.d.

west end avenue

letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity.

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