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Community members pushing to reduce noise for residents, school children along M-14

M-14 sign
Adam Moss
Creative Commons
M-14 sign

The ongoing noise problem from a stretch of M-14 was the focus of a recent town hall Wednesday at Wines Elementary School. Ann Arbor residents, politicians and leadership from the Michigan Department of Transportation were in attendance.

MDOT acknowledges there is a problem with highway traffic noise in the area on the city’s west side. However, they claim they cannot fix the program without federal funding. M-14 was built in the 1960s, prior to the creation of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

With no regulations in place, noise pollution along the highway was not addressed.

Robert Gregg started a petition to put pressure on state and local officials to create noise-reducing barriers along the highway. He said he has taken noise measurements at the playground at Wines Elementary School that have reached up to 90 decibels.

“This is substantially higher than what FHWA regulations say is permissible. It’s analogous to being in a busy construction site where workers have to wear protective earplugs to protect their hearing.”

Gregg, who plans to send his young children to Wines when they are older, says if traditional methods of persuasion do not work, his group would consider filing a lawsuit.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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