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Letter: The case for quiet asphalt

Letter to the editor Deseret News

Utahns want quieter roads. Road traffic accounts for 60% of our urban noise.

Cities and UDOT need to stop building noisy concrete roads in residential areas and use quiet asphalt pavement instead. Sure, concrete might last a little longer, but asphalt roads are quieter roads.

When Legacy Highway was built, the designers did a careful study of which roads were the quietest and they built smooth quiet asphalt roads. Concrete roads have construction joints every 16 feet or so and car tires thud, thud, thud across them. Plus, concrete often gets “scored” surfacing, which amplifies the noise. Pedestrians, cyclists and neighbors all want less auto noise on their roads.

According to Asphalt Magazine, “Quiet asphalt pavement can help reduce highway noise by as much as 7 decibels, according to a 2013 World Road Association-PIARC study. Reducing noise by just 3 decibels is equivalent to doubling the distance from the source of noise to the listener, according to Asphalt Pavement Alliance literature.”

Who doesn’t want less stressful driving conditions and happier neighbors?

The next time your city wants to re-pave your residential street, make sure it uses quiet asphalt.

Josh Stewart

Salt Lake City