Too Much Fun for 311

By Anna Ponomarev

Research Question: What borough has the most party-related noise complaints?

Interactive Map: 

Through my research, I aimed to understand how music and parties affected our city. I was able to accomplish this by doing statistical analysis of 311 noise complaints throughout our boroughs. I analyzed the type of noise (descriptor), the date created, the frequency per borough, the place of origin, and zip codes. Through analysis of all this data, I was able to get a deeper understanding of where parties occur, where loud music is more common, and even get a timeframe of when noise complaints came to an all-time high. 

First, the place of origin. Many different places were analyzed: restaurants, stores, clubs, and among others. However, the place of origin with the greatest amount of reported noise complaints were residential homes. I believe that a good part of these noise complaints were due to loud music: good indication of parties. 

Secondly, zip code. Many zipcodes had similar frequencies of calls, but the greatest frequency of calls was the zip code 10466. It was significantly higher than any other zip code. After doing some research on the area by looking through photos, venues, and community events, I was able to find that this particular zip code is mainly residential. There isn’t a larger amount of clubs or bars as compared to other zip codes. This area, in theory, would have no noise complaints from bars and restaurants, busy streets, or the like. This would give a strong indication that the sound in this area would most likely be coming from loud music. Thus, indicating that parties, such as birthdays or family gatherings, could be frequent in the area. 

Next, the date of creation. The data shows that noise complaints maintained a constant of around 15K to 20K from 2010 to April 2014. After April 2014, the average went up to around 40K to 50K. Then, in May 2020 the number of calls skyrocketed to averages of 100K and above. The data shows it fluctuating, with 100K averages occurring around the summer months (May to September) and settling at a 30K average during the other months. I believe there are a few reasons behind this. Firstly, the spike starting in May 2020 was most likely due to COVID-19. While COVID is still around, in 2020 many people assumed that the pandemic had ended. Many people had been vaccinated and most likely began to party again. This could explain the massive spike in noise complaints. As for April 2014, I was unable to find any specific event that could have caused this increase. However, I feel this increase may have been due to an increase in party culture on campuses, more freedom to party, and more party venues. In my opinion, the amount of parties happening on college campuses could have increased due to partying becoming more acceptable and common. Additionally, there may have been other reasons: the population increasing so more at-home birthday parties, more college-aged people going to bars and clubs, and even just more party venues being built to accommodate more party-goers. Fourth, descriptor. I feel this piece of data gives the most insight into the NY noise complaints and gives good answers for my research question. A portion of complaints did come from loud talking, cars and trucks, and banging. However, the most significant (majority) amount of complaints came from loud music. This gives good evidence that the majority of noise complaints were for loud music, commonly associated with parties and gatherings. Finally, frequency of calls. I was able to find the frequency of noise complaint calls based on each borough. The borough with the most frequent noise complaints was Manhattan, followed by Brooklyn. However, the noise complaints frequency from the Bronx and Queens are not too far behind. This shows that, while the most amount of noise complaints come from Manhattan–which makes sense due to the amount of bars, clubs, people, and parties happening there–there is still a relatively even spread of noise complaints throughout all the boroughs. In conclusion, I was able to come to a few conclusions. The amount of noise complaints has generally increased over the years since 2010 and major events such as COVID influenced this. The most amount of noise complaints came from residential homes and were due to loud music. Finally, the zip code with the most amount of noise complaints was 10466, which is a residential neighborhood with relatively little party venues. 

I believe that through my data analysis, I was able to find that music from parties is heavily present throughout NY. Parties are alive and well, with the majority of noise complaints coming from loud music, with a great deal of it coming from residential homes. While partying may not have increased in public venues such as bars or clubs, there is definitely a spirit of partying through NY homes that does not look like it will end anytime soon.

Graphics based on 311 Noise Complaint

Figure 1. Frequency of Noise per Borough in NYC
Figure 2. Number of Noise Complaint per Category
Figure 3. Noise Complaint Place of Origin

 Link to dataset: