A study, carried out in 1998–2000, investigated if a traffic noise lvel of 55dBA, the level allowed in the 1994 Transit New Zealand Road traffic noise guidelines, was an acceptable limit in New Zealand for areas that previously had low traffic noise.
A case study approach was used for four roads, two of which had been open for about two years, and two had been open for about 12 years. A sample of residents were surveyed for their attitudes to road traffic noise in comparison to the general amenity of the area.
The study also determined if the road traffic noise resulted in lower prices for those houses more exposed to road traffic noise but found that no effect could be isolated from other factors which might also influence price.
The study found evidence that exposure to traffic noise can result in more frequent sales, and some of the early sales made soon after the construction of the road can be made principally to avoid the traffic noise.
Keywords: guidelines, New Zealand, noise, residential areas, roads, traffic