NZTA experts to do an assessment
By Nick Fisher, spokesperson for Expressway Noise Abatement Group (ENAG)
New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) have released the terms of reference for a review of their noise mitigation on the Kapiti expressway.
The two people asked to conduct the review will assess if NZTA has complied with the conditions of NZS 6806, and also if the noise affects are ‘reasonable’.
If these two experts come from the same pool as other NZTA experts, then we won’t hold our breath for a satisfactory outcome, observed the spokesperson for ENAG a group of affected residents campaigning for better noise mitigation.
If however they are truly independent, then they must conclude that the noise is unreasonable, and can and should be reduced, whether or not it complies with 6806. We all know the standard is not fit for purpose, and it is disappointing that NZTA continue to hide behind it.
Rumble strips have made things worse
The noise has been made worse by the addition of rumble strips (ATPs), which according to NZTA’s own guidelines should not have been used, and were not part of the acoustics modelling used to comply with 6806.
Noise: Evaluate likely noise impacts, do not install ATP road markings where noise disturbance is likely.
Following installation remove ATP on a case by case basis if necessary.
(From ‘Guidelines for use of Audio Tactile Profiled (ATP) Road markings’)
Delay in engine brake signs going up
NZTA have finally undertaken to erect Engine Brake Advisory Signs, as ENAG erected a month ago; however they will not do so until the end of October.
Why the delay? They were supposed to be up when the road opened; there is no valid reason to delay further.
Why does it take 8 months to erect signage? I have offered to put our signs up in the meantime, but NZTA keep pulling them down.
NZTA keep mentioning safety when talking about engine braking. Engine braking is not a safety issue on the expressway; maximum braking is only achieved with the truck’s service brakes, which operate on all wheels.
Get on with what’s needed to reduce the noise!
Engine braking (which obviously only affects the driven wheels) is designed to reduce brake wear and overheating on long steep downhill sections.
On the expressway it is used to reduce the need to use the service brakes, thereby reducing wear on the brakes – an economic issue.
Guess who is paying the price, and it’s not the NZTA bureaucrats.
Where is Trump when you need him? Just build the Wall!