How to Reduce the Effects of Highway Noise in the City.

Noise barriers are significant elements in modern urban life. Residences along the highway often suffer from noise pollution, which is only preventable by various methods like noise barriers. Therefore, busy roads and highways should have a surrounding noise barrier to protect individuals from street noise pollution.

Highway noise barriers are not limited to highways only, they are equally important to trains, trolleys, subways, and any other type of roads since all the noise from these places spreads through the city.

This post looks into how to reduce the effects of highway noise in the city. Read through to learn more.

Noise pollution is known to have adverse effects on the human body and their mental health. Increased blood pressure regarding physical health, stomach ulcers, and even depression are among the significant side effects of noise pollution.

Also, the physiological adverse effects may cause communication difficulty, aggression, create fear, prevent sleep, creative occupation, among others. Luckily, there are several ways we can use to reduce the effects of highway noise in our cities.


When it is wide, tall, and dense enough that it can’t be seen through, vegetation can reduce highway noise. A width of 61 meters thick hedges can reduce the noise level by 10 decibels, cutting in half the sound of traffic noise.

While planting enough vegetation as highway noise barriers may be hard, they can still be planted for psychological relief, privacy, and aesthetic treatment.

Building insulation

Insulating buildings can significantly reduce subway and highway traffic noise, more so when cracks are filled, and windows are sealed completely. Also, soundproof materials are placed in the building during the construction process.

However, know that complete insulation is comparatively costly because air conditioning will be needed when windows and openings are sealed.

Traffic management

Effective traffic control can sometimes help reduce traffic noise. For instance, heavy trucks and construction machines can be prohibited from following certain roads within the city. Or they can be allowed to use sections of the highway during the day or at a specified time.

The speed limit around residential areas in the city may also be limited to a certain level which does not encourage noise. For example, a speed limit of around 33 kilometer-per-hour can be necessary for distinct noise reduction.

Buffer zones

These are open, undeveloped spaces bordering the highway. They are created when highway authority acquires it or purchased development rights and the normal right of way to prevent people from setting up houses along the highway.

While buffer zones are great in reducing the traffic noise, getting such a big piece of land can be difficult, and a lot of people have already set dwelling along the roads, it is always hard to create them.



Living in a city exposes people to a lot of noise from moving vehicles and other machines, which can adversely affect their lives. However, with a proper highway sound barrier, people can live peacefully in urban centers.

Effective traffic management, wide, tall, and dense vegetation, and creating buffer zones are among the common ways of reducing the effects of highway noise pollution.

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