Noise-weary New York ponders a gentler, European-style siren

That long, droning police and ambulance siren that has been part of the soundtrack of New York City for generations could be changing.

Two city lawmakers have proposed switching to a high-low wail similar to what's heard on the streets of London and Paris.

Their reasoning is that the European-style siren is less annoying and contributes less to noise pollution.

Noise is consistently at the top of the city's complaint line, with many calls about the loud sirens that blare 24/7, wake people from their slumber and cause dogs to howl in unison.

"Europeanizing" New York sirens would not change the decibel level — still at 118 — but would lower the frequency and thus make them less shrill but still ear-catching enough to get people's attention.