ETAP Podcast: Noise Working Group with Noel Alcala

From loss of sleep to loss of hearing, noise can pose a real threat. Recent studies have even identified a possible link between noise exposure and dementia. Traffic noise is a major contributor to noise pollution that fuels these negative health outcomes. Tires hitting pavement make up the majority of highway noise. Better modeling and barriers can work to mitigate this for folks living near areas with high levels of noise- and DOT practitioners are working toward such solutions for all affected.

Joining us on the podcast today is Noel Alcala, Noise and Air Quality Coordinator at the Ohio Department of Transportation. Noel also heads the AASHTO Noise Working Group, which operates under the Committee on Environment and Sustainability. The noise working group convenes state DOTs and promotes discourse on, and works in reducing traffic noise and its negative effects.

Environmental News Highlights – October 27, 2021


Senate unanimously redirects COVID relief money for infrastructure projects – WIS-TV

What’s in, and what’s out, as Democrats trim Biden infrastructure bill – AP

White House, EPA tout climate wins and goals ahead of COP 26 – E&E News

Can the Biden Administration Meet Its Offshore Wind Goals? – Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Billions in environmental justice funds hang in the balance – AP


COVID-19 Pandemic: Observations on the Ongoing Recovery of the Aviation Industry – GAO


WSDOT Project Keeps Traffic, Fish Moving During Construction – AASHTO Journal

Pa. to Pave Road With Asphalt, Recycled Plastic Mixture – Times Leader

Downtown Brooklyn’s Greener, Car-Free Future Is Taking Root – CityLab

For Uber and Lyft, the Rideshare Bubble Bursts – New York Times (Opinion)


New Software Puts Rail Freight On Express Track To Net-Zero Emissions – US Department of Energy

Fly more, pollute less — the great aviation conundrum – France 24

Study: Charging Up EVs Costs More Than Filling Up Gas Tanks – Detroit Free Press

CDOT issues updated air pollution reduction standard proposal – Colorado Department of Transportation (Media release)


‘Mobility Justice’: How cities are rethinking public transportation after COVID – Grist


Environmental groups say state’s trash reduction plan not strong enough – WBUR Radio


WSDOT archaeologist solves mystery of structure under Maple Valley Highway – KIRO Radio

Michigan City’s new trail connects the dunes, arts, a wild river and (eventually) Chicago – South Bend Tribune


Guide aims to help blind, low-vision pedestrians navigate Montgomery County streets – Radio WTOP

R.I. will not try to stop the South Water Street bike lane project – Boston Globe

Public comment sought on bike plans in Joplin – Joplin Globe

Group seeks to convert old South Dakota railroad line to recreation trail – AP

As e-bikes soar in popularity, a proposed Massachusetts law would clarify how and where they can be used – Boston University Statehouse Program

SCAG Receives Grant for Go Human Safety Program – Southern California Association of Governments (Media release)


Confronting a ‘Triple Existential Threat’ – NAM President Victor Dzau Discusses How Health and Medicine Can Respond to Current Crises – National Academy of Medicine

Equitably Connecting Rural and Urban Populations – TRB


Re-Designation of the Primary Highway Freight System (PHFS) – FHWA (Notice of extension of comment period)

Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Mexico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Notification of continuation of temporary travel restrictions)

Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Canada – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Notification of continuation of temporary travel restrictions)

COVID–19 Related Relief Concerning Operations at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, New York LaGuardia Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National and San Francisco International Airport for the Winter 2021/2022 Scheduling Season – FAA (Extension of limited, conditional waiver of the minimum slot usage requirement for international operations only)

Fire Protection for Recreational VesselsCoast Guard (Final rule)

Port Access Route Study: Approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, VirginiaCoast Guard (Notice of availability)

Notification of Regional Roundtable Discussions Regarding ‘‘Waters of the United States’’ – Corps of Engineers and EPA (Notice of events; request for nominations)

Proposed Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen SuitEPA (Notice of proposed consent decree; request for public comment)

Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings; Green Building Advisory Committee; Notification of Upcoming Web-Based Meetings – GSA (Notice of public meetings)