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Evaluating roadside noise barriers using an annoyance-reduction criterion
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2008 (English)In: The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, Vol. 124, no 6, 3561-3567 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A common indicator of effectiveness for roadside noise barriers is the reduction in A-weighted sound pressure level (LA). The present experimental study considered alternative indicators using an annoyance reduction criterion. A large number of 8-s experimental sounds were created from binaural recordings conducted at various distances from a highway, at a location with a 4.6 m high roadside barrier (barrier sounds) and at a location along the same road with no barrier (non-barrier sounds). Eighteen listeners scaled the annoyance of the experimental sounds with the method of magnitude estimation. The barrier sounds, recorded 10-45 m from the road, and non-barrier sounds recorded 50-200 m from the road were of similar LA. Despite this, the barrier sounds were found to be substantially more annoying than the non-barrier sounds. The annoyance-difference corresponded to approximately a 3-dB increase in LA, and was mainly related to the barrier sounds’ higher relative level of low-frequency sound. This suggests that LA-reduction may not be a valid indicator of the annoyance reduction caused by a noise barrier. The Loudness level (ISO 532B) and a low-frequency corrected sound pressure level (L*A) were found to be better than LA as indicators of the barrier’s annoyance-reduction efficiency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 124, no 6, 3561-3567 p.
Keyword [en]
road-traffic noise, noise barrier, annoyance, loudness level
National Category
Psychology Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-18795ISI: 000262765600023OAI: diva2:185318

This research was conducted in the research program “Soundscape Support to Health,” sponsored by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA), the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova), and the Swedish Road Administration. The research was also supported by grants to M.E.N. from the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and by grants to Professor Birgitta Berglund from the European Community (Calm Tracks and Routes Project No. COOP-CT-2005-017609). The authors would like to thank Mr. Owe Gustafsson for recording assistance and Dr. Tomasz Kaczmarek and Dr. Piotr Pekala for help with computer programming.

Available from: 2009-02-03 Created: 2009-02-03 Last updated: 2015-09-21Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Mats E.Andéhn, Mikael
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