Arline Bronzaft Will Talk to Your Noisy Neighbor “I deal with sex. I deal with crime. It goes beyond noise.”

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Chang ( Clio Chang )
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"I was supposed to call Arline Bronzaft at 10:30 in the morning but somehow forgot. So when the phone rang at 10:45 with Bronzaft on the other line, I found myself apologizing profusely. “Don’t worry,” she said. “Is this the most important thing? No.” At 87, Bronzaft radiates a certain kind of patience, born of time and, perhaps more significant, spending more than half her life waging a campaign against an enemy she knows she’ll never fully defeat: noise.

Bronzaft is an environmental psychologist and professor emeritus at the City University of New York who has spent the past five decades researching the adverse health impacts of noise and trying to make New York City just a little quieter. She has advised multiple mayors and transit officials and helped shape the city’s noise code. If you’ve noticed that parked ice-cream trucks have grown silent or that buses are somehow a little less loud than they used to be, you likely have Bronzaft’s single-minded campaign to thank. Today, she continues to serve on the board of GrowNYC, an environmental nonprofit, where she helps litigate people’s personal noise complaints — including speaking with noisy neighbors directly. “People would ask me to come to their homes to listen to the noise overnight and sleep there,” Bronzaft told me. “My husband said that’s the one thing he did not want me to do..." 
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