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11352Re: Two takes on "green" cars

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  • Matt Hohmeister
    May 1, 2009
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      Of course, NYC's high density intensifies traffic noise, but even here in Tallahassee, FL, the outdoors--save for rural areas--are also nearly deafening. It's just not noticed as much because the number of pedestrians in most of the city hovers around zero. However, it's still clearly audible even inside with all the windows shut.

      Here are some other noises of interest:

      - Traffic. There's no point in the urban service area that's not close enough to a busy road to make the traffic audible--especially some motorcycles, which can be heard for miles.

      - Air conditioning compressors. I've mentioned this before, and a carfree city is likely to put them on roofs, as opposed to the American method of putting them in the worst possible locations, like apartment hallways, house balconies, or right outside bedroom windows. That is, if there's no district chilled water.

      - Two-stroke lawn-care appliances. This is a biggie, and I'm not talking about the occasional chainsaw to remove a tree that's threatening to fall. From downtown to the suburbs, lawn-care services will spend hours on end running two-stroke leaf blowers, weed trimmers, and hedge trimmers, which produce deafening amounts of noise. Even the City itself does this--no wonder nobody wants to use the downtown parks. I guess laying extension cords is just too much work. Those of you in Europe--is this a problem there too?

      - Dogs. Many residents leave their dogs outside while at work or sleeping, and they bark for hours on end. I'm wondering how carfree cities would handle this--I sure wouldn't want to live in a row house next to someone like this.

      - House parties. I've lived in student-heavy areas, and I'll say it: parties do not generate nearly as much noise as you think. My apartment's bathroom exhaust fan was probably louder inside my apartment than most nearby house parties. The real reason people call the police on house parties? The partygoers park up the street or apartment parking lot. With the only real problem caused by house parties out of the equation, no more problem here.

      - Electric tools. Air compressors and circular saws make enough noise that your neighbors will know what you're doing, but these noises are generally in short bursts and have never bothered me. Again, not a problem. Is there any easy way to contain electric tool noise from a construction site in a carfree area?

      > Hi All,
      >
      > The other point that needs to be made here is that
      > if ALL vehicles are relatively quiet, they will all
      > be audible. It's only when there is a large disparity
      > between the sound levels of the vehicles that the
      > quiet ones cannot be heard.
      >
      > The noise in New York City is nearly deafening. People
      > who live there for any length of time yell all the time,
      > as they cannot otherwise make themselves heard.
      >
      > The roar of traffic carries all the way up to the
      > observation deck of the Empire State Building,
      > which is nearly a thousand feet above the street.
      >
      > Best,
      >
      > Joel
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