Noise control at congested urban intersections: Sensitivity analysis of traffic management alternatives

M. El-Fadel, H. Sbayti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Scopus citations


    Urban areas of Beirut suffer severe traffic congestion because of a deficient transportation system resulting in economic losses and adverse environmental impacts. Grade-separations are proposed at several intersections to alleviate or minimize this problem. Noise levels, which are highly dependent on the geometric configuration of an intersection, are a major environmental concern. This paper presents an impact assessment of traffic noise at urban intersections including an analysis of traffic management strategies. Noise measurements were taken at several intersections to describe existing noise exposure levels and to calibrate a noise attenuation model. Simulations were performed for several traffic management scenarios including with and without grade separations, changes in vehicle mix, type of pavement, and level-of-service. Two typical intersections with 65 and 95 percent traffic through a grade separation are analyzed. An assessment of impact significance associated with traffic noise emissions was then conducted by comparing predicted noise exposure levels with baseline noise levels and relevant noise exposure standards, with the objective of optimizing intersection management in terms of minimal noise impacts. Simulation results showed that besides traffic flow improvement, a grade separation reduces noise impacts because of its ability to deviate sound waves from sensitive receptors. However, the traffic management alternatives considered in this study do not appear to produce a difference that would be discernable to neighborhood residents and, hence, would not be effective, by themselves, in controlling urban noise.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)206-213
    Number of pages8
    JournalNoise Control Engineering Journal
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - 2000


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