Letter to the Editor: I Scream! Ice Cream Trucks Are Big Headache In Hercules

Foxboro resident Melissa Cagle writes in about the loud and proud ice cream trucks that roam her neighborhood.


I live in the Foxboro subdivision off Willow in Hercules.

In the Spring, Summer, Fall, and sometimes even the Winter, the Ice Cream Men come around in their white trucks. Those trucks play very loud, very annoying music. I often go out to the truck to ask them to turn it down. If they don’t turn it down after 2 or 3 times, I ask the cops to make them do it. Eventually they just stop coming down my street.

I can be in the bathroom with the door closed, while inside my house with all windows closed - and I still hear it loud and clear! Then the silly song gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day, and it just drives me crazy.

When I was a kid on the East Coast, the Ice Cream Man had little bells on the top of the windshield that went “ring-ring-ring” and we would all come running. One of the many good things about that is you don’t then get that silly song stuck in your head. And they had just as much business back there as I see with these guys here.

Frankly, I think they violate our privacy and add major noise polution. This is very poor marketing and should be regarded and treated as such.

Anyway; I am sure that I am not the only one... If you have a suggestion on how to get them to change, please comment. It would be great for all of us if Hercules could outlaw the LOUDNESS of the Ice Cream Man.

jon cyr July 16, 2012 at 02:36 PM
About 2 yrs ago I called and complained about the volume of the Ice Cream trucks in Pinole...MY FAMILY THOUGHT I WAS LOSING IT...But I still think they are to loud and look terrible ( complete eye sores) ...I know everyone just trying to make a buck...They stopped selling sugary drinks/snacks in schools and now the ICE CREAM trucks just pull up to the schools park and do there thing.
Andrew Walters July 16, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I agree that "ice cream" trucks are a nuisance. They have a right to their trade, certainly, but they need to find a way to attract their customers that doesn't aggravate the rest of us. The sound loops are awful and can be heard too far away. I put "ice cream" in quotes because very little of what they sell has any dairy in it. They're chemical wonders, brightly colored frozen foams of non-food substances. Like "mechanically separated poultry", few would eat those treats if they knew what was in them.
David Isherwood July 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM
The fact is that these trucks are really mobile candy stores. They sell an assortment of candy and junk food along with ice cream. They conveniently roll through the neighborhood distributing high calorie snacks to kids that can't be bothered by walking or riding their bikes to the store. And they stop at our parks to give kids a chance to load up on sugar after they play sports. The music they play is a nuisance. It reminds me of the Pied Piper…
carol@wedrinktea.com July 16, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I agree. I was never home during the day, but in 2008 I started working from home. The noise / music drives me crazy. I cannot get it out of my head. I called the police a couple of years ago and they said they would ask them to lower the sound, and possible just play it when stopped. They should play the music once & stop ]. This constant all day is noise pollution & a real annoyance. this reminds me to call the police again. I grew up on the east coast as well. The ice cream man would come,ring his bell once or twice & that was it. I thought the suburbs were supposed to quite!
Susan Tarvin July 16, 2012 at 04:34 PM
They troll our neighborhood year-round, even when it's raining and cold. But it upsets me most when they stop across the street from schools, including Hercules Middle High, at the end of the school day. I don't think I'll be able to get their music sound loop, and "Hello!", out of my head.
Ken Morrison July 16, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I too remember the ringing bells, white trucks with dry ice freezers , men in white uniforms with hat and clean trucks. Most of the trucks I see look like their next stop should be the junk yard. Maybe its not that the music is loud, just terrible. If they played good music maybe it would not be so annoying! Noise pollution yes, invasion of privacy, I don't think so.
David Isherwood July 16, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I put the obnoxious music on par with the blight of advertising signs that have popped up at all major intersections. Not going to lose any sleep over it but it is tacky and annoying.
Selina Williams July 16, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Those trucks look disgusting besides the fact that they pedal junk. The noise is horrible. There needs to be some standards in a) cleanliness, b) noise pollution, c) quality of products. It is up to competitors to raise the bar on design/presentation and parents to demand better quality goods. There should be an ordinance against any of these diabetes promoters coming with in a certain distance from a school or park. There should also be an ordinance limiting the noise these vendors can make in Hercules neighborhoods. Write in and ask your city council to propose such an ordinance. I believe there are a few members that will support such a measure.
Wendy Harrison July 16, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Regarding the responses about "junk" food sold off these trucks. There is junk food sold in every grocery store, gas station, Target, K-Mart, etc. So, if you want to dictate what people SHOULD eat, we need another form of government, though current State and the Federal governments are making inroads to becoming food Nazis. It's up to parents to parent and, if they don't want their kids eating junk food, they handle it on the home front.
Chris Tallerico July 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I'm not so concerned with the food they're selling...Hell I'm a big fat man and enjoy an ice cream now and then! But the music is waaaaaaaaaaaay too loud and the trucks are FILTHY inside. The ones that I've seen in my neighborhood and at RV Park give new meaning to "roach coach".
Nancy Michelli July 17, 2012 at 01:59 AM
I agree. I also live in Foxboro Heights and they are loud and obnoxious. Definitely annoying and disturbs the peace. And as someone said they look like they were pulled out of a junkyard. Disgusting. And yes the food is toxic junk but that's everywhere.
Lyn August 23, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Although I agree that the music is pretty loud, my main concern is with the TRASH that is left behind from these "moving obesity machines"! Kids buy this junk and quickly toss the wrappers EVERY WHERE!!! The proprietors of these things MUST take more responsibility of their surroundings and PROVIDE garbage receptacles for their customers. Can they be sited for littering?


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