- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

50,000 heart deaths/yr caused by traffic noise

Close to half of all Europeans are regularly exposed to traffic noise levels that are potentially dangerous to health, a new study has found. See news report HERE.

I might add that the Japanese took noise pollution seriously back in the seventies with the development of the Shinkansen high speed "bullet train" lines, and now environmental quality standards for shinkansen railway noise are among the strictest in the world. Too bad the government counter this by spending some 5,000,000,000 yen each year building roads that have a constant stream of vehicles spewing noise and so much else besides.

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