21 November 2011

More Highway Waste

Unfortunately, I recently drove most of the eastern portions of I-275.  I noticed that miles and miles of precast concrete sound barrier has been installed and continues to be installed.  A quick internet search shows that these walls cost in the range of $3 million per mile, and effectively reduce the sound by 4 decibels within a few hundred feet of the walls.  But the walls also sometimes bounce sound and have negative effects further out.

I understand that living near a interstate sucks and that they REDUCE property value, so I can understand the lobbying to mitigate the hazard.   But no walls are proposed to help residents anywhere near downtown.

I once considered living on historic Dayton Street in the West End.  But the house was on the western end of the street, and the highway noise was oppressive.  I've never seen sound barriers on any of the western half of I-275.  Just wondering.. Why would  Milford, Loveland, Indian Hill, Blue Ash and Springdale get more attention than say Colerain, Harrison, Mt Airy and Northside?  Gee I couldn't begin to guess...

But despite the inequity of the chosen locations, is this really an important priority for transportation dollars? Seems extremely wasteful to me.

Also related, vehicle miles traveled  (VMT) is decreasing for the first time in the history of the automobile, and Millennials have less interest in cars than previous generations.

Also, car / truck oil consumption graphs here. And why we should dismantle freeways here.


Anonymous said...

I've always been puzzled by the placement of these highway sound walls. I don't have a problem with them. My beef is I live near the I-75/I-74 interchange in a neighborhood and house built long before the freeway. I have to put up with auto/truck noise but houses and developments build after the highway get sound walls. Last I heard is they were not planned for the big Hopple St/I-74 interchange project underway. Go figure.

lrgmnky said...

The irony is that most of the communities where you'll find sound barriers were built after the interstate was already there, but you'll find no barriers near neighborhoods that existed before highways were built.

Rachel said...

I've also noticed that some of these seem to be where there is not an abundance of houses! they just want to make it so the walls connect even though you might have a mile of maybe 1-2 houses!

Kevin LeMaster said...

Mike, these are creeping farther west. They're being built near the I-275 Mt. Healthy exit (Hamilton Ave/US-127). Within the next ten years, I wouldn't be surprised if they were already to Colerain Ave.