Long Beach Considers Turning Down Volume on Ice Cream Truck Music

We all scream for ice cream, but a Long Beach city official wants to turn down the volume on vendors' truck music

By Ron Rokhy and Hetty Chang
|  Monday, Jul 8, 2013  |  Updated 8:39 PM PDT
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A Long Beach city councilman is considering regulating the noise from ice cream trucks. The new ordinance would force ice cream trucks to turn off their music when they are idle. Hetty Chang reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 8, 2013.

Hetty Chang

A Long Beach city councilman is considering regulating the noise from ice cream trucks. The new ordinance would force ice cream trucks to turn off their music when they are idle. Hetty Chang reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 8, 2013.

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Ice cream trucks in Long Beach may soon have to turn down their music if one councilman gets his way.

Councilman Dee Andrews, of the city's 6th District, will introduce an agenda item Tuesday that could regulate the noise of ice cream trucks.

Citing complaints received from residents throughout the years, Andrews’ item requests the city attorney address the high-volume "annoyance" created by the trucks. It also requires parked ice cream trucks to stop playing amplified music while dispensing ice cream.

“Currently, there are no laws on the books regulating trucks from playing music while they are parked,” Andrews said.

But some some residents said they couldn't understand why the city would take away one of the best parts of getting ice cream.

"I just run to my mom and ask her if we can get some ice cream," said Juan Navarro, when asked what he does when he hears the music.

The music, often played from speakers at the roof of the trucks, helps attracks customers, according to Jason Chandler, who owns Mama Smurf's ice cream truck.

Complaints stem from the trucks following each other on routes and playing loud music while idle.

"Most of the trucks are reported to make several trips on the same route while playing shrill music for 30 to 45 minutes," read the proposal letter sent to the mayor by Andrews. "The music continues even when the trucks are stopped to serve customers. There have been incidents when multiple trucks were on one block at the same time, each with their music loud."

Other residents are pleased that Andrews is focusing on solving the problem.

“I have been living in the Wrigley neighborhood for seven years,” said Sam Portillo, a resident in the 6th district. “Each year, the ice cream truck noise gets louder and the trucks increase in numbers. It has definitely affected my quality for life for years and I am thankful that something is being proposed to address the problem.”

"Many of them don't stop after 8," said Allen McDaniels, another resident. "They don't turn down the music when they're stopped."

Photo credit: Getty Images, flickr/.imelda

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