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Author: Ian A. Waitz, Robert J. Bernhard, and Carl E. Hanson
Noise is a major driver in the design and operation of transportation systems.
There are only a few places in the United States where transportation noise is not noticeable.1 Figure 1 shows the results of an analysis estimating the percentage of each county in the United States where highway, rail, and aircraft noise are noticeable during the day (Miller, 2003). In 1981, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that 19.3 million people in the United States were exposed to a day-night average sound level (Ldn) greater than 65 dB from highway traffic. The corresponding numbers for aircraft and rail were 4.7 million and 2.5 million, respectively.