The prolonged economic crisis in Greece in the last 5 years resulted in a dramatic road traffic volume reduction and as a consequence in environmental road traffic noise diminution. This article analyses this issue with comparisons of measurements of noise, traffic volume and speed, at certain points along the capital’s ring motorway, for a 9-year period. Data and comparisons concern measurements taken at 42 locations in Athens ring road during the last 9 years. According to the results, since 2009 – the year with the highest ring road traffic volume – there is a downward trend in both road traffic and environmental noise measurements recorded every year. It is also interesting to point out that until 2009, at locations where there is high traffic volume and many hours of congestion during the day, there is some minor reduction or even an increase in noise level due to the increase of the average speed. On the other hand, night measurements show that, for economy reasons, driver’s speed has dropped to lower levels and thus lower noise level measurements are recorded.
economic crisis, sustainability, traffic noise, traffic volume
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