Noise Complaints

Noise Complaints

Aircraft Noise

The City of Madison does not handle aircraft noise complaints. Please use the following resources to report aircraft noise issues:


Barking Dogs

The Madison Police Department handles barking dog complaints. Please visit the Public Health Madison & Dane County Animal Services for other animal-related issues.

  • Call the Madison Police Department Non-Emergency phone number: (608) 266-4275
  • Press 6 or say "occurring now"
  • A representative will ask for details about the situation

Car Alarms

If a car alarm has been going off for longer than usual, please call the City of Madison Police Department.

  • Call the Madison Police Department Non-Emergency phone number: (608) 266-4275
  • Press 6 or say "occurring now"
  • A representative will ask for details about the situation

Car Stereos

City of Madison ordinance does not allow car stereos to be audible at a distance greater than 75 feet. To report a violation of this ordinance, follow these steps:

  • Call the Madison Police Department Non-Emergency phone number: (608) 266-4275
  • Press 6 or say “occurring now”
  • A representative will ask for the following details:
    • License plate
    • Color of vehicle
    • Make, model and year of vehicle, if possible
    • Is the vehicle occupied, if so how many people?

Construction Noise

Use of construction equipment is allowed between the hours of 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, Monday – Saturday and 10:00 am – 7:00 pm on Sunday. Most contractors are aware of this City of Madison Ordinance. For detailed information, visit the Building Inspection Construction Noise page.

Complaint Details

Please provide specific details about your construction noise complaint. This will help the City resolve your issue.

  • Details about noise: loud machines, hammering, etc.
  • Location of the noise: address when possible

Reporting Construction Noise

Follow these steps if you experience construction noise outside the allowed times:

  • First instance:

    • Call Building Inspection Division at (608) 266-4551
    • Building Inspection will contact the contractor and remind them of the ordinance
  • Continued disturbance, or after 7:00 pm:
    • Call the Madison Police Department Non-Emergency phone number: (608) 266-4275 
    • Press 6 or say “occurring now”
    • A representative will ask for details about the situation

Loud Parties

  • Call the Madison Police Department Non-Emergency phone number: (608) 266-4275
  • Press 6 or say "occurring now"
  • A representative will ask for details about the situation

Special Events

Individuals and groups can rent out park shelters or hold events in public areas. These events sometimes include a private noise amplification permit. These permits have notification requirements, rules for sound volume, and permissible hours. If you have a noise complaint, you can attempt to resolve the issue with event organizers.

If you are not comfortable approaching organizers, contact the Madison Police Department. An officer can help determine if the circumstance is in violation of ordinance. If the circumstance is in violation, the officer will document the event. If appropriate, the Madison Police Department issues a citation.

  • Madison Police Department Non-Emergency phone number: (608) 266-4275

Train Noise

A train must blow its horn before any railroad crossing unless it is within a "Quiet Zone". This is a safety precaution required by the Federal Railroad Administration.

A "Quiet Zone" is a federally designated stretch of land where trains are only required to sound a horn in an emergency. In Madison, there are twenty-six (26) Quiet Zones. You can read more about Quiet Zones and view PDF maps on the City of Madison Engineering website.

Please use our General Feedback form to report train noise concerns. The City has no real influence on what time of day a train operates. We will forward any comments or complaints we receive to the operating railroad.