City pauses installation of traffic noise cameras in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Last year, city council passed a resolution to crack down on loud vehicles by installing noise cameras throughout Albuquerque. Now, the program is on pause.

A rep with the Albuquerque Police Department told KOB 4 the technology isn’t developed enough yet for them to get the pilot program going. 

KOB 4 spoke with a local man who creates the technology for noise cameras. He says he wants a chance to prove it works, and thinks it would make streets safer. 

“I think Albuquerque is just about the most beautiful city in the world, and then you’re out there enjoying the outdoors and ‘Vroom vroom vroom vroom’ right?” said Nick Ferenchak, president of Not-A-Loud. 

Frustrated by the excessive noise, Ferenchak decided to do something about it. So, he created a company called Not-A-Loud that develops technology for noise cameras. 

“We developed a device that detects noise levels and when a certain threshold is passed it triggers cameras and microphones to record the event, and see which vehicle was making the noise at that time,” said Ferenchak. 

He’s not talking about just any traffic noise, but the noise coming from aftermarket modifications to make vehicles louder. 

“Not only is it a disturbance, it’s a health risk. It’s been shown to increase stress, increase heart disease, things like that. Also, for businesses, if you own a business nobody wants to sit outside your restaurant if you’re at a loud busy road,” Ferenchak said.  

Other people who live in the city notice it too. 

“Just shakes our apartments and stuff too, you can feel it from the freeways cause we live right next to the freeways on Pennsylvania and Constitution. And, yeah, it’s pretty bad over there,” said Alex Angelakis, an Albuquerque resident. 

“Does get a little annoying sometimes but with people’s altered engines, if it’s right next to me, I might get a little annoyed. But otherwise I’m not as much worried about it,” said Santiago Saenz, another Albuquerque resident.

In December 2022, Albuquerque city council passed a resolution to crack down on noise pollution. Directing city leaders to develop a pilot program using noise cameras for vehicle noise enforcement.

They say modified exhaust systems are causing a nuisance to residents and negatively impacting quality of life. 

So, Ferenchak submitted a proposal. 

“They’ve asked us a few questions but no definite plans yet on how to actually implement these plans out on the streets,” said Ferenchak. 

The resolution states the city had six months to develop the program. But reps with APD says they’re not moving forward – at least not now. They say the technology is too new, and it hasn’t found a system that would be a good fit. 

It’s disappointing for Ferenchak.

“24 hours a day you can hear the cars racing up and down Tramway,” he said.

Others say putting the program on pause might not be a bad thing.

“You’ve got tons of homeless people on the streets, you’ve got drugs everywhere, I think you outta be focusing on those types of problems other than noise coming from people’s cars,” said Aaron Hanners, an Albuquerque resident.

Other cities that have piloted or implemented automated noise cameras include Knoxville, Tennessee, New York City, and Longmont, Colorado.

Ferenchak believes his devices could have also made the streets safer. He has a PhD in transportation engineering and says there is a link to loud vehicles and street racing.