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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Interactive Map Shows Just How Noisy St. Louis Is

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 8:43 AM

  • Screenshot via Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Want to know how loud your neighborhood is? There's now an interactive map for that.

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics debuted an interactive noise map last week that displays data on noise created largely by interstate highways and airports. As originally reported by NPR, the map was made with tools and information collected by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Aviation Administration to determine average daily noise levels from transportation.

The map displays areas in different colors, block by block, depending on the degree of noise each address typically experiences. Type in your state, your city or even your exact address, and voila — you can see a visual of how loud it is in comparison to the areas around it.

Like every big city, St. Louis shows its share of noise greater than the surrounding countryside. But it's once you break things down beyond that things get interesting.

click to enlarge screen_shot_2017-03-28_at_7.42.28_am.png

It's no surprise that, locally, the area between Berkeley and Bridgeton is the loudest in St. Louis, considering it's home to Lambert International Airport. But if you want to rack up bragging rights (and really, who in St. Louis doesn't?), you can type in your address and see how it compares to your neighbors.

click to enlarge screen_shot_2017-03-27_at_9.49.46_pm.png

You can zoom in if you find something interesting. Sure, there's significant noise coming from Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield and Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. But what the heck is going on east of Cahokia?

You can also address some long-festering questions. Is Clayton louder than Webster Groves? How does U. City compare to Creve Coeur? Now you can find the answer!

click to enlarge screen_shot_2017-03-28_at_7.48.20_am.png

That said, you can't type in "Downtown St. Louis," or try to have a noise showdown by typing in "Tower Grove East" and "Tower Grove South." But on a broad level, it should give you a good sense of how much transit noise affects any given street or major thoroughfare.

And if you're not happy with the information you find? Just be glad you don't live in Los Angeles. The map shows that whole city looking like a Soulard block just after last call — yikes.

  • Screenshot via Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

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