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Use These Maps to See How Noisy Your Neighborhood Is

America's cities' can hum at a whisper quiet or rattle like a trash compactor, according to a new report from a bureau in the DoT.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics

America's cities' can hum at a whisper or rattle like a trash compactor, according to a new report from a bureau in the Department of Transportation.

A map was released with the analysis that anyone can use to see how noisy it is where they live.

The reason for the disparities between cities? Overhead aviation and highways, according to the analysis and experts in noise pollution.

A prime example is Phoenix, seen below. Phoenix's major airport, Sky Harbor International, cuts close to its downtown, sending planes flying through the city. Areas shaded in darker purple have consistent noise at the level of a vacuum cleaner or garbage disposal, according to the report release just from transportation noise alone.


Los Angeles, which past studies found has the worst traffic in the U.S., also shows loud noise clusters throughout the city where planes fly overhead and especially along its major highways.

Los Angeles

While driving in the U.S. has ticked up in recent years, noise can also be just a matter of urban policy. A regular survey by Men's Health, that includes zoning laws and other factors that contribute to urban noise pollution, found Houston fared as the second-noisiest city in the U.S.

Matthew Festa, J.D., a professor of land use and property at the South Texas College of Law, told Men's Health the Houston doesn't "have a zoning ordinance that separates single-family housing from industrial and commercial areas, so it's common to have noisy activities next to a residential area."


See notoriously high-traffic New York City and San Francisco below or browse the full map.

San Francisco
New York