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News » US » New national map sets out transportation noise hotspots » published 22 Mar 2017

New national map sets out transportation noise hotspots

A new national map from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that most of the US population is only likely to be exposed to very low levels of noise generated by highways and aviation.

Some places, such as parts of New York, have higher levels of noise Above: Some places, such as parts of New York, have higher levels of noise

The initial national transportation noise map from the shows that more than 97% of the US population has the potential to be exposed to noise at levels below 50dB - roughly comparable to the noise level of a humming refrigerator.

A much smaller segment of the US resident population has the potential to be exposed to higher levels of aviation and interstate highway noise. Less than 0.1% of the population could potentially experience noise levels of 80dB or more, equivalent to the noise level of a garbage disposal.

Only national highway system interstates are included in the estimate of percentage of population affected by road noise, though additional road types are included in the dataset.  The figures use a 24-hour equivalent sound level (LAEQ) using A-weightings - a correction applied to sound levels to reflect the way the human ear hears sound. The acoustics modeling used in the National Transportation Noise Map represents a worst-case scenario, and shielding effects are not included in the model. Please see documentation for a full list of acoustic modeling assumptions.

The purpose of the noise map is to facilitate the tracking of trends in transportation-related noise, by mode, and collectively for multiple transportation modes. The results allow viewing of the national picture of potential exposure to aviation and highway noise as well as potential exposure at state or county level.

The layers will be updated on an annual basis, and future versions of the National Transportation Noise Map are envisioned to include additional transportation noise sources, such as rail and maritime.

 

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This article was published on 22 Mar 2017 (last updated on 22 Mar 2017).

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