The National Academies

NCHRP 25-02 [Completed]

Predicting Stop-and-Go Traffic Noise Levels

  Project Data
Funds: $64,999
Research Agency: Vanderbilt University
Principal Investigator: Dr. William Bowlby
Effective Date: 1/18/1988
Completion Date: 5/31/1989

STAMINA 2.0 has become the standard computer-based noise prediction model to aid in the assessment of existing and future noise levels on highway projects. It has the versatility to use several ranges of factors (or data) to predict noise levels for many types of conditions. However, STAMINA deals with free flowing traffic traveling at least 30 miles per hour. It does not have the capability of dealing with stop-and-go conditions that are frequently encountered in urban areas and can be very different from normal free flow traffic conditions.

Noise analysts using STAMINA have been attempting to predict noise levels for stop-and-go conditions by using various approximations and engineering judgments, such as varying average vehicle speeds and emission levels. The analyst who assesses existing and future noise levels for environmental impact statements (EIS's) or environmental assessments (EA's) using STAMINA has no formally recognized basis for adjusting the program to adequately reflect stop-and-go conditions. Consequently, the error resulting from the use of these approximations can be significant.

Research was needed to develop a standard procedure for accurately assessing stop-and-go noise levels by adding additional emission level characteristics and other relevant factors to the STAMINA model. Therefore, the objective of this project was to develop a procedure for predicting stop-and-go traffic noise levels that could be input into the STAMINA 2.0 noise model.

Research is complete, and the principal findings and a prediction methodology have been published in NCHRP Report 311, "Predicting Stop-and-Go Traffic Noise Levels." Additional detail on the test sites and data and the evaluation techniques is available in an agency report titled, "Supplement to NCHRP 311, Predicting Stop-and-Go Traffic Noise Levels." The supplemental report was distributed to NCHRP sponsors only. However, others may obtain loan copies or purchase ones for the cost of reproduction.

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