Example of an effective road noise barrier. Kapiti residents demand proper mitigation.
At a meeting last night hosted by the Expressway Alliance, over 50 angry and tired residents expressed their dissatisfaction at the lack of action on mitigating the noise from the expressway.
The group was disappointed to realise that NZTA have been so confident in their design that there has been no contingency planning to fast track remedial action. The crowd made it clear to road building representatives that they could not accept a two year wait for action.
Expressway Noise Action Group spokesperson Nick Fisher said, "The current noise reduction measures are clearly inadequate, with truckies' views of our bedrooms taking a higher priority than our amenity values. Even where there are walls of an adequate height, the bridges have mere 1.1m sides allowing noise to flood over a wide area.
"Residents trusted NZTA, with their glossy brochures and flash displays, to have the noise issues sorted; however they have been soundly let down. NZTA has relied on a discredited New Zealand standard for road noise, NZS 6806, which has caused issues with every recently built new road, rather than use a gold standard of maximum noise reduction measures, ensuring sustainable, livable communities.
"It is unbelievable that NZTA has not learned from past mistakes, and continues to rely on the NZS6806. This standard is essentially one of process not outcomes. We are not interested in numbers; we are not interested in averages; we are interested in getting a full nights' sleep, and being out in our gardens without the need for earmuffs."
Expressway Alliance representatives explained to the meeting that they merely built the road to the specification required by NZTA, and that monitoring is showing compliance with the standards. Whether or not the standards are fit for purpose is an issue for the community to decide.
Another meeting has been scheduled for next month when the Alliance board will respond to the widespread concerns raised.