Study of Community Response to Nonaircraft Transportation Noise

Focus Area



Community & Cultural Concerns, Environmental Process






2-3 years

Research Idea Scope

Problem Statement
Current transportation noise policies in the United States rely heavily on scientific dose-response relationships between noise-exposure levels and various community responses, predominantly “community annoyance.” This is also the approach used in virtually every major country around the world and is a valid basis for environmental noise-management decisions. It is also the approach recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their recent report, “Guidelines for Community Noise” (WHO 2000). However, the database upon which the community annoyance prediction curve used in the United States is based (published as ANSI Standard S12.9, Part 3) for the most part contains only aircraft noise data because community response data for highway and transit noise exposures are scarce. The current U.S. database and community annoyance prediction curve also does not address changes in noise exposure and the associated community response as a function of the time of day, although it is well known that transportation noise exposure and human activities vary greatly throughout the day. These types of data are needed to support future improvements in U.S. noise policies.
Proposed ResearchIt is proposed that a field research program be designed and implemented to assess community responses to highway and rail transit noise, and to investigate the effects of these exposures as they vary throughout the day. The data obtained from this research will then be used to develop community annoyance dose-response relationships for nonaircrait transportation modalities as a function of the time of day.

Suggested By

RNS. Sponsoring Committee: ADC40, Transportation-Related Noise and Vibration Source Info: ADC40 Committee Meeting, Research Needs Conference