Noise abatement planning

Reducing noise pollution in city areas

Noise emission map, street at night in Fechenheim North
Noise emission map, street at night in Fechenheim North
Conflict map, street at night in Fechenheim North
Conflict map, street at night in Fechenheim North

Plans to reduce noise pollution involve the preparation of noise maps in accordance with section 47 of the German Emission Control Act.

Separate maps are drawn up for individual sources of noise such as road or rail traffic during the day and at night, using colour to show the different emission levels.

The noise maps are then used to devise conflict maps. The maps show the divergence between ­current and permissible noise levels, based on the ­limits that would be applicable to new building ­developments.

Effective noise abatement measures are being devel­oped in conflict areas, the aim being to incorporate those measures into a political process.

Noise abatement plans are developed in close co­operation with the local people. In the near future, the opinions of those concerned will be canvassed with the help of the local advisory councils over ­special internet links.

Possible measures in Fechenheim North
Possible measures in Fechenheim North (Click on the map for an enlarged view)

Involving the people has turned out to be a good idea. It gives those who are both “victims” and ­“perpetrators” of noise an opportunity to make a constructive contribution to the quest for solutions. Opportunities are provided to discuss local noise problems that are not covered by the calculations underpinning the noise abatement plans, and partial solutions may be found.
 

The noise abatement action plan includes broad measures for the whole city and others that target a specific district or position. The strategies include:

  • discouraging the use of cars by promoting environmentally friendly public transport systems, introducing traffic calming measures or changes at road junctions,
  • setting top speeds for certain road sections, e.g. 30 km an hour on urban roads and 100 km an hour on urban motorways,
  • improving the road surface by replacing paving stones between tramlines, for example, or by laying low-noise road surfaces (“whispering asphalt”),
  • diverting traffic, particularly heavy goods vehicles, away from sensitive areas, and installing or improving sound protection measures such as noise barriers.
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