K. Hamad, M. Khalil, A. Shanableh
Traffic noise is recognized as a major source of environmental pollution since it negatively affects human health. One of the challenges faced by researchers and professionals working in the field of traffic noise is that traffic noise varies among countries. This variation is due to differences in many factors, such as vehicle classifications, type and condition of the pavement surface, and meteorological conditions. This paper discusses the development of free-field traffic noise models for Sharjah City, the third largest city in the United Arab Emirates. Three different traffic noise models were calibrated and tested to select a traffic noise model that better suits the local conditions. The three conventional models attempted were: Basic Statistical Traffic Noise model (BSTN), Ontario Ministry of Transport Road Traffic Noise model (ORNAMENT), and Calculation of Road Traffic Noise Model (CoRTN). The results of these three models in terms of mean absolute error (MAE) were: 1.780 dBA for BSTN, 1.391 dBA for ORNAMENT, and 1.991 dBA for CoRTN. While the overall performance of the calibrated models was acceptable; yet, the performance was further improved when roadway temperature was also considered. The performance of the three revised models in terms of MAE was 1.493, 1.056 d and 1.948 dBA for the BSTN, ORNAMENT, and CoRTN models, respectively. Clearly, the ORNAMENT model outperformed the other two models in all performance measures. While the presented work emphasizes the importance of adapting models to different local conditions, it also recommends others to consider roadway temperature when modelling traffic noise.
Keywords: free-field noise model; roadway traffic noise; roadway temperature; environmental noise pollution; Sharjah-United Arab Emirates