GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Noise on the urban loop in Greensboro is a problem one of our state representatives has gotten hundreds of complaints about from people who live in neighborhoods along the road.
We’ve seen dozens of people complaining about it online. Now, we’re digging into just how loud it is.
The Parkers’ once quiet backyard is no longer the peaceful oasis they spent so much time and money creating.
“It is disappointing…I enjoyed being…outside all the time,” said Tricia Parker, who lives near the Urban Loop. “It is a little less enjoyable when there’s just a lot of noise.”
Every day of the week, she hears it. It gets louder at peak travel times and on weekends.
“On a scale of one to 10, I would call it about an eight,” Parker. said
Parker and her husband have been living in their home on Middlefield Court for 15 years. In 2019, crews cleared out the trees behind their house and built the Urban Loop.
“Didn’t quite expect it to be as close to us as it is,” Parker said. “Didn’t really think that we would hear it as much as we do.”
FOX8’s Caroline Bowyer used an app on her smartphone to test the decibel levels at the Parkers’ home. Their house is separated from the Urban Loop by several hundred feet and a brick wall.
At about 6 p.m. Friday, the noise was on average 52 decibels and peaked at about 58 when a loud car came by. The North Carolina Department of Transportation defines that as moderately loud.
When FOX8 crews stood about 100 feet off the Urban Loop at 6:30 p.m. Friday, that number peaked at 86 decibels when a loud car drove by. By NCDOT standards, it’s in the loud category.
There are sound barriers along the Urban Loop, which provide relief for some neighborhoods. An NCDOT study and Federal Highway guidelines determined where those were needed.
When Caroline put her phone behind one, the decibel level dropped from the 80s to the mid 60s, which is about a 15 decibel difference. The barriers work, but the noise is a nuisance.
“I can’t even imagine what it’s like to have those massive trucks thundering down the highway at 2 a.m. and waking up,” said Pricey Harrison, who represents Guilford County in the North Carolina House. “It does seem to be problematic.”
Harrison has heard the complaints for years. No one is sure if there’s a solution.
“Unfortunately, I wish there was something that could be done,” Parker said. “I don’t know what that would be at this point.”
An NCDOT spokesperson said there are no plans to build any more sound barriers along this project. All areas that met the criteria for a wall are already up. They have planted trees along some stretches to provide a barrier.