Noise pollution is worse in Jersey than NYC according to new DOT map

Posted On Wed, March 29, 2017 By

Posted On Wed, March 29, 2017 By In City Living, maps

The map, the first of its kind, highlights the intensity of noises made by cars and airplanes across the country through geospatial data.

When comparing the perks of NYC to New Jersey, add the adjective “quieter” to the list. According to a noise map released by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), noise pollution has been found to be worse in Jersey than it is in Manhattan. However, the density of highways in the city, and sounds from LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airport, do rank the New York metro area as one of the loudest areas in the entire country.

To quantify their results, DOT created a table to show the percentage of U.S. residents likely to be exposed to transportation noise. And to understand the intensity of decibels of noise-pollution in a simpler way, they also provide common comparable sounds. These range from less than 50 decibels at “refrigerator humming” to “garbage disposal,” which is at 80 or more decibels.


DOT, NYC, noise pollution map

As seen in the map above, Jerseyans are plagued with noise from airplane and car traffic which register as noisy as a garbage disposal. Remarkably, NYC residents are more commonly exposed to noise pollution that ranges in much lower volume from that of a humming refrigerator to a running vacuum cleaner.

The National Transportation Noise Map revealed that more than 97 percent of the U.S. population has the potential to be exposed to noise pollution that comes from planes and interstate highways, at 50 decibels. A much smaller portion, about less than one-tenth of a percent, of the U.S. has the potential to be exposed to the highest levels at 80+ decibels. Studies have shown that sustained exposure to 85 or more decibels has the potential to cause permanent damage to one’s hearing over time. DOT created this map with the hopes of helping policy makers prioritize noise-related transportation investments.


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