Thursday, November 2, 2017

National Transportation Noise Map and is there mitigation possible for Dunwoody on the proposed Revive 285 express lanes?

On October 5th, representatives of GDOT showed the Dunwoody City Council the possible Revive 285 plans that would include Flyover Express Lanes directly adjacent to what is now single family residential homes - noise & aesthetics were several of the issues that were hard for GDOT to answer.  Having driven up 75, I have seen the flyover express lanes under construction and I didn't see any noise abatement?

Funding is in place for the project and were told that public meetings will be held in the coming year.  I expect this topic to be an important one for the City and its residents as I believe there are limits to what noise abatements can be offered several hundred feet it the air. I can promise you that I and the other members of the Dunwoody City Council will be monitoring.

Federal Highway Traffic Noise Laws

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the agency responsible for administering the Federal-aid highway program in accordance with Federal statutes and regulations. The FHWA developed the noise regulations as required by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-605, 84 Stat. 1713). The regulation, 23 CFR 772 Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise, applies to highway construction projects where a State department of transportation has requested Federal funding for participation in the project. The regulation requires the highway agency to investigate traffic noise impacts in areas adjacent to federally-aided highways for proposed construction of a highway on a new location or the reconstruction of an existing highway to either significantly change the horizontal or vertical alignment or increase the number of through-traffic lanes. If the highway agency identifies impacts, it must consider abatement. The highway agency must incorporate all feasible and reasonable noise abatement into the project design.

Highway Project Noise Mitigation

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 provides broad authority and responsibility for evaluating and mitigating adverse environmental effects including highway traffic noise. The NEPA directs the Federal government to use all practical means and measures to promote the general welfare and foster a healthy environment.

Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970 is an important Federal legislation, which specifically involves abatement of highway traffic noise. This law mandates FHWA to develop noise standards for mitigating highway traffic noise.

The law requires promulgation of traffic noise-level criteria for various land use activities and further provides that FHWA cannot approve the plans and specifications for a federally aided highway project unless the project includes adequate noise abatement measures to comply with the standards. The FHWA has developed and implemented regulations for the mitigation of highway traffic noise in federal-aid highway projects.

The FHWA regulations for mitigation of highway traffic noise in the planning and design of federally aided highways are contained in Title 23 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations Part 772. The regulations require the following during the planning and design of a highway project:
  1. Identification of traffic noise impacts; examination of potential mitigation measures;
  2. The incorporation of reasonable and feasible noise mitigation measures into the highway project; and
  3. Coordination with local officials to provide helpful information on compatible land use planning and control.
The regulations contain noise abatement criteria, which represent the upper limit of acceptable highway traffic noise for different types of land uses and human activities. The regulations do not require meeting the abatement criteria in every instance. Rather, they require highway agencies make every reasonable and feasible effort to provide noise mitigation when the criteria are approached or exceeded. Compliance with the noise regulations is a prerequisite for the granting of Federal-aid highway funds for construction or reconstruction of a highway.


Rob Babb said...

It's a very interesting topic. We live in a 40 year old house and are ~4,700 ft away from 285. We live on the low side of our street with a house/hill/trees opposite. But every so often 285 seems insanely loud at night when i take the dog out. You'd think we would be far enough away and the noise would be blocked, but alas that is not always the case. Noise abatement of the proposed flyover lanes should definitely be a top concern.

Ken said...

I know its still in the early phases, but with Winter upon us, how is the DOT planning to handle the current and forthcoming express lanes? This project would drastically increase the number of miles of interstate that would need to be de-iced.

I think putting Martra in the middle of 285, similar to 400, would add more value than $5billion to reduce the traffic flow by 5%, I think was the estimate.

Heyward said...

With the importance of the effect that this will have on Dunwoody, it would be great for the DHA to reschedule the meeting to not conflict with the Super Bowl. I'm sure the representatives from the GDOT would like to watch the game too. Not to mention they won't have to be stuck in traffic considering the Super Bowl is here.