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Traffic Noise / Railway Noise 2004

Statistical Base and Methodology

Road Traffic Noise

The Berlin road network extends over a total of approx. 5,140 km. Traffic noise levels are certified for 1,302 km of this total (as a rule, the main traffic routes; in the inner-city area, all streets with speed limits of 50 km/h; also the entire streetcar network).

The traffic-noise map “Main Road Network” portrays the calculated daytime (6 AM to 10 PM) and nighttime (10 PM to 6 AM) assessment levels. The calculations were carried out Methaccording to the technical guideline RLS 90 (Guidelines for Noise Prevention on Roads, 1990 Edition), which is applicable nationwide. The applicable limit, target and orientation values are aimed at a comparison with evaluation levels, levels which were calculated according to RLS 90. The evaluation level is obtained from the assessment levels certified in the traffic noise map by addition of correction factor with which take brake and start-up noise into account in the neighborhood of traffic signals. These correction factors are to be added as follows: for distances of up to 40 m, +3 dB; for distances of between 40 and 70 m, +2 dB; and for distance between 70 m and 100 m, +1 dB.

The basis of the calculations is the average daily traffic volume (DTV) of a route section. This value, which was determined in 1998 on the basis of extensive traffic surveys (see also Map 07.01 Traffic Volume (Edition 2001)) takes into account seasonal fluctuations share of truck traffic in the overall traffic volume, which is important for noise calculation, is also ascertained; the number of municipal public transport system busses was incorporated on the basis of the BVG’s winter 2001 schedule.

Other quanta which influence the size of the assessment levels include: distance of the buildings from the roadway; types of buildings (open; closed); heights and types of the building facades (smooth or structured); numbers of lanes; speed limits; types and conditions of the road surface; possible available noise safeguards (walls; embankments); location of the road in a depression or on an embankment. The building parameters were obtained from the “Automated Berlin Real Estate Map, as of 2001” (ALK), the parameters relating to the road – as for example the structure of the road surface, the amount of the available lanes, die allowed maximum speed – were actualised in autumn 2003 by driving along the whole network.

In order to permit inclusion of the parameters mentioned as exactly as possible, the 1,302 km of the main road network which were examined was divided into 7,494 sections. The typical features were then ascertained, and roadside-referenced for each section. This also applies to the important quantum “building distance”. For route sections with protruding or recessed structures, the building distance was as a rule calculated on each side in the section for the most frequently occurring distance between the buildings and the middle line of the road. For buildings with a considerably varying distance, a distance correction factor must be incorporated (rule of thumb: doubling/halving of the distance means an decrease/increase corresponding to 3 dB.

The entire streetcar network was also incorporated into the Traffic Noise Map. The evaluation level solely for streetcar traffic was calculated according to SCHALL 03 (the calculation regulation for rail-traffic noise) on the basis of the 2001 winter schedule (including non-service trips). According to the SCHALL 03 stipulations, the evaluation level was ascertained by subtracting the “rail bonus” of 5 dB from the assessment level of streetcars. The rail bonus is allocated due to the lower burdensomeness of rail traffic compared with vehicular traffic. Among other things, the calculation takes into account the building situation as well as the type of track bed (e.g., gravel bed or rail flush with the roadway), not however particular types of streetcar trains (Tatra trains, low-body trains, …). As for vehicular traffic, evaluation levels are calculated for every track section-side for both daytime and nighttime.

For street sections affected by motor vehicle and streetcar noise, the total level is represented in the map.
In addition to the levels for the roadside buildings, standardized assessment level (motor vehicles) or evaluation level (streetcar) at 25 m distance from the respective outer right lane is stated, particularly for planning purposes. Any existing reflective buildings are not taken into account for the calculation of this level. If the required resulting air sound absorption of external structural components is to be determined on the basis of an evaluation level as per DIN 4109 obtained from the file (i.e., for determining the dimensions of windows), the “applicable external noise level” required for that purpose is obtained by adding a correction factor of 3 dB to the evaluation level.

For the presentation of the map in the Internet, the road sections of the counting network were assigned to the block sides of the digital map 1:5000 (Digk 5) facing the street. Block corners strongly angled to intersections were assigned only when a clear assignment to one side of a street was possible.

Railroad Traffic Noise

The railroad traffic noise map covers the 246 km long above-ground main-line, rapid-rail (S-Bahn) and subway (U-Bahn) network (in many cases, jointly-used routes). Station areas, loading areas for goods, and track junctions were not considered, due to unusual features which the calculation model does not cover.

The basis for the calculation are operational data of the German Railway (Deutschen Bahn AG) and the BVG, based on the 2003-‘04 winter schedule. The evaluation levels at the respectively nearest buildings were ascertained according to SCHALL 03, the nationally applicable regulation for railroad traffic noise calculation. For as detailed as possible an ascertainment of the basic data needed for the calculation, the network was divided into 1,586 sections, and all required values (number of trains per a type of train, speeds, types and distances of buildings, types of track body, bridges, radii of curves, etc.) was ascertained, specific to the respective section side. As with streetcars, the evaluation level incorporated the “rail bonus” allocated under SCHALL 03 (discount of 5 dB of interference, due to the lesser burdensomeness of railroad traffic in comparison with vehicular traffic).

For route sections with protruding or recessed structures, the level was as a rule calculated at each section for the most frequently occurring distance between the buildings and the middle line of the track. For buildings with a considerably differing distance, a distance correction factor must be incorporated (rule of thumb: doubling/halving of the distance means an decrease/increase corresponding to 3 dB). A standardized evaluation level in 25 m of distance was calculated for the respectively outer right track (without consideration of buildings) in addition to the daytime or nighttime overall evaluation level of the buildings of the respective section-side, for planning purposes.

In addition to the daytime and nighttime overall assessment level at the buildings in the respective sections, a standardized assessment level at 25m distance from the respective outer track was calculated for planning purposes, with no consideration for any buildings.

Use of the Data Elements in the Noise Map

Inevitably, the noise maps themselves contain only a part of the existing data in their cartographical sections. E.g., it is not possible, at the scale 1: 50,000, to correctly represent the effect of traffic signals, which is necessary for the establishment of the evaluation level. Under RLS 90 correction factors of from 1 to 3 dB could be provided up to a distance of 100 m. This would yield the evaluation level for which the above-mentioned orientation or limit values apply. In the other areas, the evaluation level equals the assessment level represented.

The level classes represented in the Noise Map, with a class width of 5 dB (A) show the noise immissions at 3.5 m above ground, in front of the building facades affected by the traffic noise, at a distance representative of the respective road section, between the building façade and the nearest lane axis.

However, in the present new version of the Noise Maps, a possibility was created for obtaining even more detailed information about the selected section, by means of the expansion of the data indication. In addition to the code number of the section, by means of which further information can be assigned from the traffic noise register from the Senate Department of Urban development, this also contains the following parameters:

  • Designation of the borough in which the section is located;
  • Street name;
  • Assigned Statistical Block;
  • DTV for motor vehicles and trucks, right and left sides of the street ascertained separately;
  • Number of BVG busses, day and night, right and left sides of the street ascertained separately;
  • Number of streetcars day and night, right and left sides of the street ascertained separately;
  • Distance from roadway center line to building, right;
  • Distance from roadway center line to building, left;
  • Distance from streetcar center axis to building, right;
  • Distance from streetcar center axis to building, left;
  • Overall assessment level at buildings; right and left sides of the street ascertained separately;
  • 25 m overall assessment level at buildings; right and left sides of the street ascertained separately; and
  • Number of residents affected.

For the area of railroad traffic:

  • Name of the station, for sections which correspond to a station;
  • On the route from ….;
  • On the route to ….;
  • Designation of the borough in which the section is located;
  • overall assessment level at buildings; right and left sides ascertained separately;
  • 25 m overall assessment level at buildings; right and left sides ascertained separately.

The data on the right and left, respectively, refer to the route-related evaluation direction; this is represented in Map 07.02, Edition 2005 by connection to the concerned blocs and in Map 07.04, Edition 2005 by arrow symbols. The data of the 25 m evaluation level refers to an immission location at a standardized distance from the center line of the road/track section, and is particularly designed to permit an evaluation of the noise situation in areas where no roadside buildings exist.

Note

The stated noise levels represent general information about the traffic noise burden of a street section. If certified specific information or further data on traffic noise burdens is required, please consult the department responsible, Referat IX D, of the Senate Department for Urban Development. This information is, however, provided for a fee, according to the Environmental Fee Scale.