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Exploratory traffic noise measurements at five main streets of Thessaloniki, Greece

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Georgiadou E., Kourtidis K. and Ziomas I.
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Although noise is a very common nuisance in Greek cities, information on actual noise levels in streets
is sparse. Here, noise measurements at five main streets of Thessaloniki, Greece for about five weeks
are presented. Ten minute, one hour and daily average noise levels were calculated. Traffic noise levels
were significant in every examined street during the study. In all streets, the diurnal variation of
noise levels and traffic volume exhibited significant correlation, with r2 up to 0.92. Noise measurements
at two heights in one street showed a difference of around 14 db between the 1st and the 8th floor. The
noise levels difference between working days and weekends was around 1-2 dB during daytime, but it
changed sign during the late night hours. The latter can be attributed to night-life recreational traffic
during weekends. Noise levels from 7:00 to 24:00 were around 63-66 dB in the 1st and 2nd floors of all
four streets where measurements were made at these floors. In these cases, the quietest period was
between 4:00 and 6:00, but even then, in three out of four cases noise levels were above 60 dB.
Although no exceedances have been observed, the mean daily values, i.e. Leq(08:00-20:00), are close to
the national limit of 67 dB(A). This exploratory measurements show that Thessaloniki has a traffic
noise problem, which is likely to become more acute, if the 6% annual increase in traffic volume experienced
during the previous decade is to continue.

traffic noise