Tysons Noise Study

As part of the effort to transform Tysons into an urban center, Fairfax County will conduct a noise study. This study will produce estimates on the noise produced in Tysons, primarily by cars, trucks, and Metro trains traveling through the area.

Study results will be used to develop recommendations on what measures developers must take to reduce traffic noise inside residential buildings, hotels, and child care centers. These measures may include items such as triple-pane windows, sound deadening insulation, and other building materials or techniques. Developers will be required to reduce traffic noise inside apartments, condominiums, and homes to no louder than 45 decibels.

Normally, the county’s land use policies (PDF) prohibit residential development in areas where outside traffic noise volumes exceed 75 decibels.

As a comparison, conversation often takes place at 70-75 decibels and gas-powered lawnmowers typically create noise levels ranging from 85-100 decibels.

The adopted Comprehensive Plan for Tysons (PDF) recommends this noise study that will examine traffic noise levels in Tysons today, as well as projected noise levels 20 years from now. The study is expected to begin in April, 2011 and will be completed within six months from the start of the study.

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