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Re: Two takes on "green" cars

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  • Matt Hohmeister
    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
    Message 1 of 11 , May 1 1:54 PM
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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
    • Erik Sandblom
      ... A lot of the noise from cars is from the tyres, not the engine. I suspect tyre noise grows faster with speed than engine noise. It would be interesting to
      Message 2 of 11 , May 1 2:50 PM
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        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...> wrote:
        >
        > 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.


        A lot of the noise from cars is from the tyres, not the engine. I
        suspect tyre noise grows faster with speed than engine noise. It would
        be interesting to know the cutoff point where more noise is coming
        from tyres.
      • J.H. Crawford
        ... In Amsterdam I almost never had a problem with this despite being surrounded by hundreds of families with doubtless dozens of dogs. The only regular
        Message 3 of 11 , May 3 6:25 PM
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          Re:

          >- 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.

          In Amsterdam I almost never had a problem with this despite
          being surrounded by hundreds of families with doubtless
          dozens of dogs. The only regular offender was... an American
          family. They denied that their dog barked.

          >- 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?

          This can be objectionable. In the new book I have called
          for limits on tools and noise levels. (Some tools are
          MUCH quieter than others.) This is a reason to concentrate
          all construction activities in a short period.

          BTW--I have been building a deck recently, and I have been
          doing all the sawing by hand. With a sharp saw, it's nowhere
          near as difficult as you might think. Of course, where to
          get a saw sharpened these days is another matter.

          Best,

          Joel




          ----- ### -----
          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
        • Matt Hohmeister
          My sister and brother-in-law--both American--have two dogs that bark very little. I guess you just have to know how to care for these very attention-hungry
          Message 4 of 11 , May 5 5:36 PM
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            My sister and brother-in-law--both American--have two dogs that bark very little. I guess you just have to know how to care for these very attention-hungry animals.

            > In Amsterdam I almost never had a problem with this despite
            > being surrounded by hundreds of families with doubtless
            > dozens of dogs. The only regular offender was... an American
            > family. They denied that their dog barked.

            I've noticed that cheap power tools tend to make a LOT more noise than their better-made counterparts. Anyone who's ever used a direct-drive air compressor vs. a belt-driven compressor has noticed this.

            I've heard proposals to regulate noise to 70 dB, measured at the property line, exception for burglar/fire/flood/temperature/etc alarms. A typical electric leaf blower is this loud at 50', ruling them out for use in most areas of a carfree city.

            > This can be objectionable. In the new book I have called
            > for limits on tools and noise levels. (Some tools are
            > MUCH quieter than others.) This is a reason to concentrate
            > all construction activities in a short period.
            >
            > BTW--I have been building a deck recently, and I have been
            > doing all the sawing by hand. With a sharp saw, it's nowhere
            > near as difficult as you might think. Of course, where to
            > get a saw sharpened these days is another matter.
            >
            > Best,
            >
            > Joel
          • Jason Meggs
            Noise is an enormous public health problem which is only just beginning to be addressed again. In the USA, the EPA s nascent Noise Control Division was
            Message 5 of 11 , May 5 6:02 PM
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              Noise is an enormous public health problem which is only just beginning to
              be addressed again.

              In the USA, the EPA's nascent Noise Control Division was remarkably gutted
              by the new Reagan Admininstration. A calculation of lives and DALYs lost
              due to that would surely be staggering. Noise kills. (One of the effects of
              that act is that transit agencies cannot specify noise as a condition for
              purchasing transit vehicles, and so transit vehicles often are many times
              louder than private vehicles in the USA. This is particularly harmful as
              transit corridors often run at night when other traffic is light, and
              through the densest population centers where the most people are exposed.)

              In Europe, noise has recently been identified as a top public health concern
              and mobilization is taking place to address it in a variety of ways, and for
              good reason:

              "About 65% of the population of the European Union is exposed regularly to
              sound levels (55-65 dB) that lead to serious annoyance, interference with
              speech, and sleep disturbance. This proportion has increased over the past
              decades.22<http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1116028#B22>Very
              loud noise (65 to 75 dB) is associated with a small increase in
              cardiovascular disease, which might have a large impact on the population in
              view of the wide
              exposure.23<http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1116028#B23>Furthermore,
              the attention, problem solving ability, and reading acquisition
              of children exposed regularly to aircraft noise are impaired. Noise also
              interferes with memory, attention, and the ability to deal with complex
              analytical problems.24<http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1116028#B24>Transportation
              is the main source of noise in Europe, and road traffic is
              the main source of human exposure to noise, except for people living near
              airports or railway
              lines.25<http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1116028#B25>"

              http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1116028

              So yes, all onoise sources are needing a rethinking, and regulations of
              power tools, vehicles, and more are critically important to public health.

              Worth mentioning that in Berkeley, CA at least, use of private
              combustion-powered leaf blowers has been banned.

              Jason Meggs



              On Sun, May 3, 2009 at 6:25 PM, J.H. Crawford <mailbox@...> wrote:

              >
              >
              >
              > Re:
              >
              >
              > >- 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.
              >
              > In Amsterdam I almost never had a problem with this despite
              > being surrounded by hundreds of families with doubtless
              > dozens of dogs. The only regular offender was... an American
              > family. They denied that their dog barked.
              >
              > >- 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?
              >
              > This can be objectionable. In the new book I have called
              > for limits on tools and noise levels. (Some tools are
              > MUCH quieter than others.) This is a reason to concentrate
              > all construction activities in a short period.
              >
              > BTW--I have been building a deck recently, and I have been
              > doing all the sawing by hand. With a sharp saw, it's nowhere
              > near as difficult as you might think. Of course, where to
              > get a saw sharpened these days is another matter.
              >
              > Best,
              >
              > Joel
              >
              > ----- ### -----
              > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              > mailbox@... <mailbox%40carfree.com> http://www.carfree.com
              >
              >
              >


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