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Old 03-07-2014, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
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Just imagine these going through Washington DC. And they were stopped by the highway revolts:



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Old 03-07-2014, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I wouldn't want to live anywhere close to an expressway, go outside your place an hear a constant roar of traffic?! I have a friend who lives half a block from the BQE (Brooklyn) and he doesn't seem to mind. Might help that NYC is in general noisy, so it doesn't feel as big of a deal. Still, even one block further is much quieter. He seems to tune out the noise. Inside, not so bad in the colder months as the windows are closed. But it's loud with the windows open.

Part of the BQE is interesting in that it was built on the site of a former Elevated Rapid transit line:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=52nd+...312.35,,0,6.76

The expressway doesn't divide much, the other side is mostly industrial, though there are some residents on the other side. No loss transit-wise as there's a subway running parelell a block away. The entire neighborhood is rather poor, but I'm told the block immediately next to the expressway has more issues than the rest (more crime, houses look a bit more run down). Though I suspect that side was always less desireable as it was nearer industry.
I ran into an article about the "Big Worm" in Sao Paulo a while back:

Sao Paulo’s elevated highway known as the ‘Big Worm’ must go, urban planners say - The Washington Post

There was a study done on the workers, which were exposed to the constant noise of highway traffic:

Quote:
This study was aimed at assessing hearing status among workers exposed to urban noise during activities related to the co-ordination of vehicle traffic in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Six hundred and twenty-four workers were submitted to audiometry and answered a clinical questionnaire. The audiometry results were classified as either normal or suggestive of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The prevalence of suspected NIHL was 28.5%, with a 95% confidence interval of 25.05–32.27%. In the multivariate analysis (logistic regression model), suspected NIHL was correlated with gender, age, city sector assignment, and prior occupational exposure to noise. The finding that prevalence was higher among those working in the noisier areas than among those working in areas with lower noise levels (38.8% versus 24.2%) suggests that occupational exposure to urban noise plays an important role. The high prevalence of suspected NIHL indicates the existence of a significant health problem among these workers.
http://www.aurisnasuslarynx.com/arti...180-4/abstract

I know an early advantage of highways and cars was that they were less noisy than trains (and they were at the time). With so much traffic nowadays, that's changed pretty dramatically. The constant sound of traffic can be terrible, depending on the situation.
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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I live about 2 blocks from an onramp. It is elevated near where I live. It is also not one that is especially congested, outside of the commutes. It isn't especially noisy actually. Probably because of the elevation. I notice it when I go to the adjacent block, but not outside my building or in my apartment.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:52 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,812,547 times
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
How could it be quieter with an expressway rumbling nearby?
Because the expressway is elevated with a high sound wall and no off/on ramps on that side. It's kind of eerie, actually, you go down the street and there's this enormous berm and wall... and dead quiet. There are also streets which overlook the highway, which are noisy as you might expect.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:05 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Exactly what I was thinking. Perhaps for some people the highway is a constant that eventually blends in as background noise vs. traffic passing through. Not for me though. The sound of constant highway noise is akin to nails on a chalkboard; oh, and I'm not a fan of living next to railroad tracks either.
I have to say this is interesting. So many urbanists say they love the constant activity of the city, and criticize the suburbs for being too quiet. (Not necessarily you.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I live about 2 blocks from an onramp. It is elevated near where I live. It is also not one that is especially congested, outside of the commutes. It isn't especially noisy actually. Probably because of the elevation. I notice it when I go to the adjacent block, but not outside my building or in my apartment.
My daughter lives near an on-ramp. There's a big privacy fence between the highway and the neighbourhood. The highway noise is really negligible.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I have to say this is interesting. So many urbanists say they love the constant activity of the city, and criticize the suburbs for being too quiet. (Not necessarily you.)
I can't speak for other urbanists, but I like people activity, but also enjoy having quiet residential streets.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:16 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,921,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I have to say this is interesting. So many urbanists say they love the constant activity of the city, and criticize the suburbs for being too quiet. (Not necessarily you.)



My daughter lives near an on-ramp. There's a big privacy fence between the highway and the neighbourhood. The highway noise is really negligible.
I'm much more bothered by machine noises than other noises (note my complaints about yard tools and similar) While I like busy streets (because of people not because of traffic noise) I wouldn't want to live on a busystreet.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:21 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
The Cross Bronx Expressway wasn't built for the people in the Bronx. No, I don't think interstates were built through cities with no access, but there are neighborhoods that they were built through and weren't designed to service the neighborhoods they were cutting through.
True of the cross-bronx, not so true of most limited-access highwAys in NYC, particularly in Brooklyn and queens. Philly's vine expressway might be another expressway that gets most of it's use from non-locals.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:48 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,554,265 times
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I lived for 5 years a couple hundred feet from a large, busy elevated interstate freeway with no sound wall (in a "streetcar suburb" neighborhood of almost exclusively single-family homes, btw) and eventually just learned to tune it out, but I did get a set of inside storm windows installed as a sound barrier in the bedroom, as I was a day sleeper at the time. It's noisier than living near a freight railroad line, and a lot noisier than living near a light rail line, but usually it's more "white noise" than incidental noise and your brain learns to compensate--unless there is an accident. It's tough to characterize a freeway as a positive amenity for a neighborhood.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,759,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
I lived for 5 years a couple hundred feet from a large, busy elevated interstate freeway with no sound wall (in a "streetcar suburb" neighborhood of almost exclusively single-family homes, btw) and eventually just learned to tune it out, but I did get a set of inside storm windows installed as a sound barrier in the bedroom, as I was a day sleeper at the time. It's noisier than living near a freight railroad line, and a lot noisier than living near a light rail line, but usually it's more "white noise" than incidental noise and your brain learns to compensate--unless there is an accident. It's tough to characterize a freeway as a positive amenity for a neighborhood.
That makes sense, I think a lot of noise could eventually become white noise after a while. Having lived 10 years in a suburb with almost constant tear down construction, I think I've tuned out the hammering and various power tools somewhat. Living on a busier street for 2 years now though, I still wake up to morning rush-hour traffic. Mind you, since it's a moderate sized city street, that means the noise is not constant, you'll make out individual cars passing by, thunking sounds as trucks go over manholes, cars accelerating after coming to a stop, not to mention occasional ambulances and honking. Highways would just be a constant sound 99% of the time.

Also, I agree with nei, I like sounds that remind me of people and natural sounds. Cars, power tools, beeping as trucks are backing up are annoying. Voices, clinking of utensils, footsteps, birds, wind rustling through leaves and rain are nice and relaxing imo. Dogs and partying can be annoying if loud and irregular since that makes it more difficult to tune out if you're trying to concentrate on something or to relax. Maybe sometimes partying and such can arouse your curiousity but I don't think I would want to experience that 24/7.
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