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Slicing and dicing NYC Noise: DEP top 10 complaints and time taken to close them out

Number of service requests to NYC’s 311 from 2004 to 2017: 26.99 million

Below are four tables – the first two relate to the top 10 noise complaints handled by the DEP from 2004 to 2017, and the number of days it took to close them out. Followed by the top 10 for 2017 and the days it took to close them out.  You can see a considerably shorter times to close out noise complaints across the board in 2017 vis a vis the historical averages.

Top Noise complaints to DEP from 2004 to 2017
Complaint Type Number
Noise: Construction Before/After Hours (NM 1) 190, 133
Noise, Barking Dog (NR 5) 100, 997
Noise: Construction Equipment (NC 1) 56, 214
Noise: Construction Equipment (NJ 4) 35, 406
Noise: Jack Hammering (NC 2) 30, 980
Noise: Alarms (NR 3) 30, 894
Noise: air condition/ventilation equipment (NV 1) 25, 156
Noise: Jack Hammering (NJ 5) 22, 913
Noise: Air Condition/Ventilation Equip, Commercial (NJ 2) 20, 859
Noise, Ice Cream Truck (NR 4) 20, 779

Some categories above are related, such as Noise: Construction Equipment, but they are then further subcategorized as (NC 1) and (NJ 4). There is a case for merging them, from the point of view of the average New Yorker who is more interested in the fact of noise than the minutiae of DEP’s administrative categories. For now I chose not to merge them. Even though my foray into analyzing 311 data was first triggered by jackhammering and after-hours construction noise from Brookfield Place.  Jackhammering also has two subcategories, one of which didn’t make the cut to the top 10 list. Maybe one type is jackhammering in the street by utility companies, about which there is probably not much anyone can do, and the other is private entities like Brookfield who … let’s leave it at that for now.

Top Noise complaints to DEP 2004-2017 and avg. days to close them
Noise category Number Avg. Days
Noise: Construction Before/After Hours (NM 1) 187, 861 8.1
Noise, Barking Dog (NR 5) 100, 218 7.6
Noise: Construction Equipment (NC 1) 55, 579 6.0
Noise: Construction Equipment (NJ 4) 35, 339 15.4
Noise: Alarms (NR 3) 30, 813 7.1
Noise: Jack Hammering (NC 2) 30, 707 7.0
Noise: air condition/ventilation equipment (NV 1) 24, 980 8.9
Noise: Jack Hammering (NJ 5) 22, 870 14.9
Noise: Air Condition/Ventilation Equip, Commercial (NJ 2) 20, 790 22.8
Noise, Ice Cream Truck (NR 4) 20, 647 10.8
*Omits instances where days to close are < 0 or > 365

There are a few instances where a complaint was closed out before it was made – presumably someone hitting the wrong digit in the dates. The problem is/was egregious with the Dept. of Transportation some years ago and I blogged about it earlier as the Forensics of DOT’s Time Travel.  DoITT – maybe avoid this by having the system not accept a service request close date that occurs before the open date? Similarly I left out instances where a complaint took more than a year to close out, on the assumption that someone forgot to close it out sooner. The 365 day cut off seems somewhat arbitrary – why not 6 months? Maybe I will run an optimization and bring the ‘oversight’ and ‘typo’  cutoff closer to the real variance but for now, I see no reason to completely eliminate a sloppiness penalty. This gets more relevant when looking at NYPD’s data. But on to DEP’s noise stats for 2017:

Top Noise complaints to DEP in 2017
Complaint Type Number
Noise: Construction Before/After Hours (NM1) 27,291
Noise: Construction Equipment (NC1) 9,138
Noise, Barking Dog (NR5) 6,901
Noise: air condition/ventilation equipment (NV1) 4,760
Noise: Alarms (NR3) 4,32
Noise: Jack Hammering (NC2) 3,853
Noise, Ice Cream Truck (NR4) 1,524
Noise: Private Carting Noise (NQ1) 1,363
Noise: lawn care equipment (NCL) 556
Noise: Manufacturing Noise (NK1) 335
Top Noise complaints to DEP in 2017 and avg. days to close them
Noise category Number Avg. Days
Noise: Construction Before/After Hours (NM 1) 26, 436 4.9
Noise: Construction Equipment (NC 1) 8, 858 4.5
Noise, Barking Dog (NR 5) 6, 818 2.6
Noise: air condition/ventilation equipment (NV 1) 4, 669 8.6
Noise: Alarms (NR 3) 4, 12 1.6
Noise: Jack Hammering (NC 2) 3, 743 4.4
Noise, Ice Cream Truck (NR 4) 1, 473 4.7
Noise: Private Carting Noise (NQ 1) 1, 302 5.5
Noise: lawn care equipment (NCL) 530 5.3
Noise: Manufacturing Noise (NK 1) 325 4.3
*Omits instances where days to close are < 0 or > 365

311 data from NYC Open Data downloaded at various times. As of Feb 5, 2018, 27 million rows, 52 variables till 2009, 53 variables from 2010. Parsed using R v3.4.3 in RStudio v1..1.423

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