City Noise Pollution Map Makes Me Happy I Live in East Texas
While Tyler isn't a major city in Texas in terms of population density, there is still a sizable amount of 'city noise' and road traffic noise (if you live in Tyler, you get the traffic part).
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics recently released a report on road and air traffic noise and it says 97% of the population of the United States has potential to be within earshot of road and air traffic noise up to 50 decibels.
The study explains that 50 decibels is about as loud as a humming refrigerator - so it's not terribly loud (I used to live by railroad tracks so I welcome 50 decibels).
Obviously, a city like Dallas (think of the Airport!) is an incredibly bright spot on the map with all of that air and road traffic. Noise levels can reach over 80 decibels, which is the equivalent volume of a vacuum cleaner or garbage disposal. This is why I left Austin. Well, that and the astronomical rent prices.
But out here in East Texas - ahhhhh, can you just feel that relaxation in the Piney Woods - it's noise traffic is not nearly as troublesome.
Tyler has parts where it gets to about 70 decibels loud and by looking at the map, the loudest part of the city is right on top of Hertz Tyler Regional Airport.
When you look at aviation and road traffic noise in Dallas, you're probably patting yourself on the back for choosing a more relaxing location to rest your head at night. Dallas appears to be the loudest city in Texas although Houston does seem much quieter in the air or on the road either.
Longview doesn't have an area with a high concentration of noise, but just like Tyler, the roads can get up to 50 decibels loud. I will say that TX 31 is pretty much a stretch of noise from Louisiana to Dallas, TX.
Shreveport over in Louisiana gets pretty loud too with peaks at about 75 decibels. Again, the loudest part of the city is right where Shreveport Regional Airport sits.
Moral of the story, don't live close to airports if you like your peace and quiet. Even better, move to East Texas. I love how secluded this part of Texas can feel, even though we're still pretty close to metropolitan areas.