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Traffic noise and vehicle movement at a controlled intersection

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Author: Salomons, E.M.
Publisher: Institute of Noise Control Engineering
Source:Noise Control Engineering Journal, 1, 62, 10-26
Identifier: 503239
doi: doi:10.3397/1/376202
Keywords: Acoustics and Audiology · Noise pollution · Traffic control · Vehicles · Video recording · Apartment buildings · Differential image · Noisy vehicles · Traffic light · Traffic noise · Traffic noise levels · Traffic noise models · Vehicle movements · Acoustic noise · Urban Development · Built Environment · Earth & Environment · UES - Urban Environment & Safety · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


Traffic noise at an intersection controlled by traffic lights shows noise level variations due to the alternating green and red lights for the different trafficstreams. Noise peaks caused by automobiles pulling up or passing by at highspeed may be quite annoying for people living near the intersection. Detailedprediction of the variations is difficult, primarily because of the complexity ofthe traffic flow on the intersection. In this article an experimental study is presentedof traffic noise near an intersection controlled by traffic lights. Soundmeasurements were performed at the facade of an apartment building nearthe intersection. Vehicle tracks and other traffic data were derived from awide-angle video recording of the intersection during the noise measurement.The video recording was also used to generate a differential image of movingvehicles, from which an overall "vehicle movement level" that correlates wellwith the measured noise level was derived. An interesting consequence of thisobservation is that video recordings can be used for focused real-time monitoringof traffic noise levels. Further, calculated noise levels were determined withthe Dutch standard traffic noise model, based on the vehicle tracks. The calculatedlevel shows good agreement with the measured level, except for some peaksgenerated by noisy vehicles exceeding the speed limit of 50 km/h. The potentialeffect of strictly enforcing the speed limit is analyzed. © 2014 Institute of NoiseControl Engineering.