If you are reading this, you must be someone with some kind of interest in the noise created by traffic on our nation’s highways. This site, naturally, is focusing on one particular stretch of highway, namely I95 in Fairfield County, CT. GotNoise? was founded in 1999 by a group of Westport, CT residents living along I95 who were, and remain, concerned about the destructive effects of noise polution on this highway. We were, and remain, particularly aggrieved that while several communities along this highway did benefit from noise abatement measures (sound barriers) that had been implemented, just as many, if not more, communities did not have such measures and the CT DOT, at the time, had no interest in doing anything other than maintaining the status quo.
This entailed, by and large, spending only that minimum amount required to keep the State’s existing barriers in good repair. GotNoise has been seeking to change that mindset ever since. Amongst our accomplishments to date are the new technology barriers being constructed today. We had pointed out that the wooden barriers originally selected by CTDOT, while they were always the low bid at construction, required constant maintenance and were far more costly when evaluated on the $ spent over the life of the barriers. We are gratified to see the new barriers being constructed with concrete panels. To counter the CTDOT claims that there was no money for additional barrier contruction and that residents should participate, we were instrumental in having a state law passed allowing for the creation of special purpose taxing districts. Just as residents can create such a zone to fund sewers, we now can, should we choose to, create a special purpose taxing district to fund sound barrier construction. These and our other achievements can be found on the main website www.gotnoisect.org.
But we note that much still remains to be done. In Fairfield county the new barriers being constructed are there to replace existing wooden ones in towns such as Darien where, clearly, recent stimulous money has been going towards road “improvements.” These road improvements entail, predominantly, widening the highway in areas where existing ingress and egress has been causing bottlenecks. Federal law mandates that when any highway is expanded, noise abatement measures are required. But to the extent that these improvements do facilitate traffic to flow at a faster pace (and/or more volume) along th entire stretch of I95, then noise polution increases for everyone. Thus GotNoise? still would like to agitate for additional barrier construction along the entire route.
Arguments for and against can be made and our thoughts on the “pro” case can be found in our website. Thus it would not do merely to repeat them on this blog. Rather, this blog has been created to encourage an active dialogue with contributions by others – such as local politicians, residents with questions that are yet unanswered, experts with useful information to inform us all etc.
So please, peruse our main site, and post your comments here. Only with a lively, free exchange of ideas can progress be made
Welcome to you all, we look forward to the discussion
Jacob Navon, President – GotNoise?