LOS ANGELES – For generations of children, it is the pleasing sound of summer: the tinny, high-pitched rendering of “La Cucaracha” and “It’s a Small World” coming from ice cream trucks trudging through their neighborhood. The music sparks Pavlovian desires for Popsicles, Bomb Pops, 50/50 bars and ice cream sandwiches.
For some residents of Long Beach, though, the repetitive – and sometimes competitive – warbling has become an annoying nuisance, more like nails on a blackboard.
The City Council last week took a step toward reining it in, drafting an ordinance that would require ice cream truck drivers to turn off the music when serving customers.
Council officials are getting a lot of national attention as a result, and not all of it is flattering. They have nothing against ice cream trucks, they say, but they want them to be quieter.
“I want to state for the record, I do like ice cream and I enjoy ice cream trucks,” Councilman Dee Andrews said. “We just have to strike a balance of the needs of our neighbors for peace and quiet and the business needs to sell ice cream.”
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