Why do Highways Need Noise Barriers More Than Ever

When looking for a new place to live, the first thing a person notices is if the house is near a busy street or highway. This is done for more than just the safety of children and animals. It's a fear of too much noise. Using something to cut down on the noise is a simple way to solve this problem. Here are four reasons why highway noise barriers are a good idea.

Reason why Highways need Noise Barriers

The average noise level in a city neighbourhood is about 40 decibels at night and 50 decibels during the day. A similar neighbourhood near a highway has 80 decibels or more of noise, which makes a humming sound in the background. Anything louder than 80 decibels could be harmful to a person's hearing. Even though there is no way to get rid of highway noise pollution completely, putting up a sound barrier cuts the amount of noise that travels by a lot. It creates a buffer that keeps noise pollution from spreading from the interstate into the neighbourhoods around it. When state or local governments build roads near residential areas, they have to put up temporary highway noise barriers as well as permanent ones to make up for the noise from the new roads.

Avoid Litigation

There are a lot of different ways that highways cause noise pollution. There are sounds from trucks, the highway, the toll road, and the pavement. Each one makes the area around it louder, which affects more than 18 million people. When these sounds spread, people have health problems like not getting enough sleep, feeling sick, and maybe even losing their hearing. Anyone who gets hurt in this way has the right to file a lawsuit. Highway Noise barriers are a way to protect against lawsuits. After all, it costs $53 per square foot for good walls. That is less than $4 million per mile. Compared to a class action lawsuit, which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to settle, this investment is cheap.

To help keep local businesses alive

Most of the time, areas that are licenced for commercial use are already in busier parts of a city. Manufacturers and stores choose buildings based on how easy they are to get to by road. So, they already live where it is the loudest. When the noise from interstates is added, it makes it much harder for commercial buildings to deal with noise pollution. All of the affected businesses are affected by the effects. They could lose customers and money, which would also mean the government would lose tax money from people who might visit or move to the town. Having safeguards in place to stop sound pollution from getting worse makes it more likely that all businesses can make as much money as possible.

Prevent Negative Publicity

In the age of social media, word gets around quickly. If someone has a problem, they can tell everyone they know about it in a matter of seconds. Six Degrees of Separation says that a person only needs a few social media shares to get the word out about an issue. Think about that premise in terms of noise pollution. If pollution is a problem in a town, everyone will let other people know about it. Like with the industry, both people who live there and people who might want to visit will be less likely to go there. Putting up a sound barrier along a highway is a proactive way to avoid bad press. Roads connect everyone to the rest of civilization. Since the noise is a problem, it seems like the best way to protect the citizens is to put up Noise barriers.