Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rubberized Asphalt Concrete Reduces Noise Pollution



Photo courtesy of eHow, "Types of Joints in Concrete".




I was talking to a friend who is a professional surveyor.  We were speaking about urban planning, Mission Hills, Walk The Wash etc etc, and then he mentioned how much noise pollution is created by the thump, thump, thump of the cars driving up and down Washington Street.  I agreed wholeheartedly with him, and asked what causes that?  He explained that on that part of the street in the canyon the road is concrete, not asphalt.  While concrete is long-lasting, it's not very absorbent to noise, and any kind of joint or cracks in it seem to create a small barrier in the road so as tires hit it, the noise sounds like a big THUMP!  With multiple cars driving up and down, this thumping becomes an on-going loud vibration disturbing everyone living, working, and visiting around the canyon.


One option would be to consider repaving it with rubberized asphalt concrete.  RAC is made partly with recycled tires, so it's considered green.  RAC can reduce traffic noise by 5 decibels!   And because between 2000-8000 tires are used in a typical 4-lane mile-long road, California reduces it's tire waste.  There is a great fact sheet online about it.  It's also green in that it reduces a huge amount of noise pollution!  If we wanted to use this amazing recycled material on Washington Street, we could apply for one of several grants to help fund the upgrades.


I'm not sure if RAC is standard use for San Diego yet, but wouldn't it be nice to get the benefits of this type of material in the canyon on Washington Street?  Do you think it might increase property values surrounding the area?  Would more people sit outside the cafes and restaurants on India and Washington?  Would their experiences at these businesses be better?  


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