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Mobility Measure

freight trucks
Noise Reduction in Usti nad Labem

The measure was aimed at linking noise emissions with a road map to provide a noise map for the city as well as modelling some proposed solutions for reduction of traffic noise and to evaluate effectiveness of individual proposed scenarios.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Ústí nad Labem has a target to reduce proportion of residential areas located in areas exposed to traffic noise levels above 65 dB.

It was proposed that studies would be undertaken to gain a better understanding of impact measures for noise reduction and to develop a noise map so that problem areas can be targeted as part of the Ústí nad Labem Sustainable Urban Transport Plan. This measure is closely related to the measure 67 Efficient Goods Distribution, where are the findings further utilised.

The study had the following goals:

  • to develop the emission noise map from noise generated by the current traffic in the city and identify the problematic areas
  • to identify roads with the highest level of noise emitted by the local traffic
  • to develop the emission noise map from noise generated by the traffic predicted in the city
  • to propose measures reducing the noise emitted by cars for the most affected areas with regard to organisation and regulation of local traffic, targeted to year 2012
  • to apply the traffic model and subsequently the noise model on the proposed solutions and include assessment of the proposals for effective distribution of goods in Ústí nad Labem within the measure 67 Efficient Goods Distribution in Ústí nad Labem

How did the measure progress?

The traffic planning software PTV-VISION from the company PTV Karlsruhe was used for development of the traffic model to calculate the traffic load for various scenarios.

The traffic model was based on following documents:

  • National traffic census (2005)
  • Directional survey on border crossings (2005)
  • Timetable for construction work on highways and expressways in the Czech Republic
  • Statistical lexicon of Municipalities in the Czech Republic (2005)
  • Results of the traffic survey conducted by the processor
  • Regulatory plan of Ústí nad Labem (2005)

The input data were: division of the area into individual zones, demographic and activity information for each zone, transport behaviour patterns of homogeneous groups of inhabitants, decision-making algorithms, offer of the transport network and offer of transport services.

The output data are matrixes of traffic volumes divided into three categories: personal vehicles, light trucks (less than 3.5 tonnes) and other freight vehicles (above 3.5 tonnes).

Based on the data, transport demand was calculated and transport demand matrixes were matched to the appropriate parameterised transport network. The matching was dependent on load capacity, iterative steps, defined network nodes and lines, length, category, capacity, initial speed, intersections, allowed movements and length of delay.

Differences in the burden of road network for different scenarios and different time periods were identified. The final output was the annual average daily traffic intensity on the network (AADT).

The road network model was based on the model of private vehicles in the Czech Republic calculated to the level of 3rd class roads, including roads of European importance abroad. This model is continuously updated and used for the needs of local authorities.

The traffic model was used to simulate the current state of transport and the foreseen future state of the traffic load. The input data corresponded with the Regulatory plan of the city from the year 2005.

Noise emissions were calculated on a model using the software VISUM and the module Environment. Calculations were based on the German standard RLS-90 (Richtlinien für den Lärmschutz an Straßen).

The input data were:
1) The standard hourly traffic volume counted as a percentage of 24-hour model volume
2) Proportion of trucks
3) Type of road surface
4) Speed of traffic flow
5) Longitudinal gradient of the road

Problems related to noise emissions in the city were identified. Noise reducing model solutions were developed in 7 scenarios. These solutions involved proposals to construct specific bypasses, implement speed reduction by 10% and exclude freight transport from certain city parts.

Furthermore, organisational and technical solutions for noise protection suitable for Ústí nad Labem were identified. This include application of greenery, noise walls, speed reduction, constructional changes on roads, road surface, road profile, renewal of vehicle fleet, avoiding crossroads, noise protection of buildings, traffic management, improvements of traffic flow and modification of transport demand.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The primary output of the noise study of the current state was an emission noise map for the existent motor-vehicle traffic (the map for day-time and night-time period).

The target to reduce the noise level in the city exceeding 65 dB proved to be expensive and demanding radical measures. Even smaller reduction by 3 dB requires significant decrease of the traffic intensity (about 50 %), which is difficult in an urban environment and must be accompanied by other technical solutions preventing noise.

It was verified, that significant reduction in the traffic volume can be achieved by building bypasses and transferring the traffic from sensitive zones. Although, such measure can result in only temporary improvement, when the released traffic capacity on roads in the city may cause iterative increase of individual transport and therefore traffic saturation.

7 specific scenarios for noise reduction in Ústí nad Labem were designed:

Proposed scenarios A, B, C and D are considering construction of bypasses between selected roads. Such measures proved to have only local effect manifested mainly in the relevant city quadrants decreasing the noise level by 2 – 5 dB. In other city parts, the changes are only small. The scenario proposing decrease of traffic intensity has low impact and is not sufficient for significant noise reduction.

The scenario E proposing implementation of the complex system of bypasses resulted in slight decrease in noise emissions on several areas.

Scenario F considering decrease of traffic speed showed improvements on all the city roads, but decrease the noise level only by 1 dB on average. The speed reduction has a potential to reduce noise emissions if implemented in more than 10%.

Results of the scenario G proposing exclusion of freight vehicles are most visible. The decrease of noise emissions is achieved on almost all the roads in the city by more than 5 dB on average. Exclusion of freight vehicles is an effective measure, but it is necessary to determine on which roads it is appropriate to implement it and what effect this will have on the outside zones.

In order to efficiently reduce noise emissions in the city, it was recommended to apply other technical solutions, such as noise barriers, use of innovative materials preventing noise, tunnel solutions, etc. The measure should be supported by suitable demand management strategies for individual transport aimed at reducing number of vehicles by shortening the number of parking lots available in the city centre, introducing the paid entrance to the central zones, etc

The measure was evaluated together with the measure 67 - Efficient goods distribution in Usti nad Labem.

Basic Information

March 2013

Thematic Areas