Noise annoyance due to transportation is widespread in industrialized countries and in urban areas in the developing countries. The European Noise Directive (END) requires an assessment of the noise situation as well as the formulation of action plans for the reduction of the number of people harmfully affected by environmental noise. In this paper it is shown how noise abatement strategies can be evaluated using strategic noise maps and noise impact indicators derived from these maps. On the basis of the road traffic noise map of the city of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) it is demonstrated how different noise abatement measures can be compared in order to choose the most (cost) effective noise abatement strategy. This analysis is used by the municipality of Amsterdam to formulate an action plan. In the END, a lower limit of 55 dB for noise calculations is suggested. This leads to an underestimation of noise impact indicators (such as the percentage highly annoyed). The magnitude of this underestimation is calculated for different noise sources in Amsterdam.