Our goal is to protect southwestern Connecticut residents from the harmful noise pollution created by the heavy car and truck traffic along I-95. We are exploring a variety of different ways to reduce the noise, including better enforcement of the existing speed limits and truck weight regulations. It is clear, however, that the most effective solution is the installation of sound barriers along the highway. The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) has erected sound barriers in other towns in Fairfield County and other parts of Connecticut, but communities such as Westport, Norwalk, Fairfield and Darien, among others, do not have sound barriers's.
The sound study commissioned by Got Noise? in 1999 indicates that conditions in Westport have deteriorated since the noise pollution was last measured by ConnDOT in 1985. We can only expect that the problem will get worse. While Got Noise? recognizes that the Department of Transportation has many competing priorities and limited resources, we believe that ConnDOT has:
- Underestimated the severity of the problem in Westport and other towns
- Failed to aggressively explore creative, cost-effective solutions to this problem.
Many members of the Got Noise? group have contacted ConnDOT as individuals, or have been involved in past group efforts to have sound barriers erected in Westport. The DOT's responses to all of these past inquiries have consistently been negative. We feel that ConnDOT has become deaf to our legitimate cries for relief, and is ignoring a worsening situation and the harmful effects the situation has our citizens.
It appears that ConnDOT has given up on this problem. We believe that without effective leadership from other government officials or a court-ordered solution, ConnDOT will probably avoid installing sound barriers in Westport or anywhere else regardless of any state budget surpluses or innovative new technology.
Got Noise? will continue to work with ConnDOT and our local and state representatives until a solution to the sound pollution problem along I-95 in Westport and other areas is developed and implemented. We want the state to take an open-minded approach to this problem, and work to solve it promptly.