Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: What is your city doing about noise?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tullinge Sweden
    Posts
    190

    What is your city doing about noise?

    The WHO recently published a report suggesting that as many as 3% sufferers of ischaemic heart disease in Europe (typically strokes and heart attacks) died prematurely as a result of noise. That translates in 210000 deaths a year world wide. New Scientist magazine (27 Aug. 2007) quotes John Millet of the American EPA as saying "It was clear to us in the 1980s and before that noise pollution was serious and reaises stress levels, and causes a wider array of health issues inclding cardiovascular impacts, blood pressure, even heart attacks to those who are susceptible. There is no funding for noise pllution at the US EPA." It's Office of Noise Abatement and Control was closed down in the 1980s. Responsibility has shifted downwards to states and cities.
    So what's your city, and your planning department specifically doing about noise? Is it effective? How do sound barriers fit into the picture and has anyone come up with an aesthetically decent sound barrier?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    Posts
    916
    My city seems to be doing all it can to attract more development, and thus more vehicles and more noise! But seriously, new developments usually are surrounded by concrete walls at least 6' tall on main streets. Noise barriers are required next to highways. They are building new barriers along existing highways. The most aesthetically effective I've seen at the highway scale have large graphics in repeated patterns and muted colors. When I was with the DOT in NJ, they dis some bariers with stone in gabions, which looked pretty good, and vines tended to cover them quickly. But this was in a case where a massive amount of rock needed to be blasted away to build the highway, and they had to put it all somewhere! I'm really not a fan of sound walls as I think they are a visual blight on the landscape. I think the funds would be better spent on soundproofing individual homes. Of course, if you want to use your backyard, you may be SOL!
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tullinge Sweden
    Posts
    190

    what about road noise

    Boilerplate, you seem to think that road noise is the major source. You may be right, I don't know. But do you know of any cases where the approach has been to reduce road noise by changing road surface material?

    In Sweden this is one of the approaches, with experiments being done with a variety of materials, including a compound based on old tires. It's supposed to wear better too.

    Elsewhere, the approach in inner city areas has been to reduce speed limits down to 30 km/h - in North Am that would be SLOOOOOW! They also prohibit leaving engines idling for longer than 1 min - for both noise and pollution.

    I'm interested to know what's being done elsewhere and how effective it is proving to be.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    Posts
    916
    Oh yeah, they've done a lot of research on pavement types and the noise they emit when driven on. Asphalt is quieter than concrete, being less dense. They also did tests with "open-graded" asphalt and found that it absorbed noise. that is similar to the asphalt they use in permeable pavement applications. Lots of pore space in it muffles the noise instead of reflecting it. This is also true of sound absorptive surfaces that have been used on barrier walls. I've seen a surface that was made from wood chips held together with some kind of binder, and another one made with what looked like Perlite, a type of mineral that you often find in potting soil mixes in the form of little white balls.
    Something the European countries did that allows noise barriers to be shorter was simply requiring trucks to have their tailpipes down low. Exhaust and the tires on the road are the major sources of noise. Here the tailpipes on semis are some 12-13' in the air! Another problem noise source is engine braking, and many places have ordinances against using them when going through residential areas.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  5. #5
    Cyburbian estromberg's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    127
    Here in Rockford, IL the city council passed an ordinance to impound vehicles that that have stereos playing that can be heard from 75 feet away... targetting the $400 cars with $4000 worth of rims and loud stereos pumping out basslines. Aside from that, just the usual 10pm noise ordinance type stuff.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. noise and density
    Cities and Places
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 03 Mar 2005, 8:01 AM
  2. Help! There's this noise...
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 12
    Last post: 22 Nov 2004, 11:51 AM
  3. Traffic Noise
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 12
    Last post: 30 Aug 2002, 2:05 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last post: 26 Aug 2002, 3:48 PM
  5. Documentation of noise output
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 20 Sep 2001, 10:24 PM