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How the City handles traffic noise concerns.

Higher traffic volumes produce more traffic noise. Doubling the traffic on a roadway will increase noise levels by approximately 3 dBA, which is barely audible.

Proximity to the roadway is a large factor in noise levels. The closer you are to the roadway the greater the noise will be. Doubling the distance from the roadway will lower the decibel level by 3 dBA.

The speed limit has to be reduced by 20 km/h to noticeably decrease traffic noise. Most arterial roadways in Edmonton have speed limits of 50 or 60 km/h. The City will not use posted speed limits of less than 50 km/h.

Roadways like Whitemud Drive are designed for greater traffic volumes and speeds. They're necessary to move people and goods throughout the city. An “artificial” reduction in the posted limit on a road like Whitemud Drive creates safety concerns because drivers tend to travel at speeds that feel comfortable, creating greater discrepancies between the fastest and slowest drivers.

While there are notable benefits to reducing tire interaction noise with the use of rubberized asphalt (crumb rubber), the City is currently assessing the long term impact it has on reducing traffic noise.

The effectiveness of rubberized asphalt is impacted by our harsh winter season (freeze thaw), snow plowing, and sanding.

Is concrete louder than asphalt?

Noise tests done by the City have discovered noise from concrete pavement is 1 dBA louder than noise from asphalt pavement. The difference in noise levels between concrete and asphalt are not noticeable to the human ear.

In an urban setting like the City of Edmonton, the road right-of-way is not wide enough for vegetation to achieve a significant reduction in the noise level.

The Community Standards Bylaw deals with “nuisance” noise sources, including noisy vehicles. Complaints are addressed by the Edmonton Police Service as well as the City.

Residential Bylaw Complaints

There is no difference on noise levels between double glazed and triple glazed windows.

If the original windows you replace are the older metal sliders with single panes of glass in each of the sliders, new windows will noticeably reduce the noise levels. If you plan on replacing your windows for the purpose of reducing noise, consider high sound insulating windows.

Styrofoam insulation is too light-weight to act as a noise barrier and not porous enough to act as an acoustic absorber. Although Styrofoam provides good thermal insulation, it provides poor acoustic insulation.

Some types of insulation do have sound attenuating properties and can be effective when used with other sound reduction techniques.

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

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