Traffic Noise Management: The Dutch Approach

Invited paper

Richard Jonker


Monday 1 june, 2015, 17:20 - 17:40

0.7 Lisbon (47)

Over the past years, The Netherlands have developed a legal system to manage noise production from traffic on highways in order to increase environmental protection of residents. It replaces a complex system that focussed mainly on noise immission along new infrastructure, allowing traffic noise levels to increase unlimited along existing national roads. Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch national road authority, implemented this new system. To handle traffic noise along the Dutch highways simple and efficient, the new system is built upon three pillars: (1) manage traffic noise production, (2) reduce noise levels above 65 dB Lden and (3) stimulate innovative measures like noise reducing pavements. This will allow Rijkswaterstaat to accommodate traffic growth and meet the traffic noise goals in the future. The new system is built upon a large set of reference points in close proximity of the highways. Every reference point has its own maximum noise limit: the noise production limit. When the actual noise level is getting close to the noise production limit (using an early warning system, five years ahead), noise reduction measures have to be programmed and realised. Also, a large noise remediation programme has started to realise noise measures (noise barriers, noise reducing pavements, insulation) on locations with traffic noise immission levels above 65 dB Lden. And finally, noise reducing pavements have been developed. A tight integration with the asset management of roads surfaces is required in order to reduce costs and realise measures timely. The paper focuses on the goals, challenges, constraints and outcome of the new system a few years after introduction.

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