Mitigating Roadside Noise Pollution: A Comparison Between Rounded and Sinusoidal Milled Rumble Strips

Published In

Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

Document Type


Publication Date



Shoulder or centerline rumble strips (RS) generate noise and vibration to alert drivers when they are departing the travel lane. Although inexpensive to install, easy to maintain, and have documented safety benefits, RS are not installed on many roadway segments primarily due to noise concerns of nearby property owners. This study evaluated the feasibility of using sinusoidal RS as a substitute for rounded milled RS on roadway segments in Oregon (U.S.A.) with lane-departure crash problems. Exterior sound levels generated by rounded and sinusoidal RS strikes were compared to baseline sound levels for three vehicle types (passenger car, van, and heavy vehicle) to establish sound generation and alerts of the two designs. A total of 39 vehicle strikes of RS were recorded in a controlled field experiment. Rumble strip strikes by the passenger car and van generated less exterior noise with the sinusoidal (3.1 dBA) than with the rounded (passenger car: 5.4 dBA, van: 4.6 dBA) design. Results for the heavy vehicle were complicated due to bridging of the narrower rounded rumble strip by the tires. The wider cut of the sinusoidal RS generated a clearly detectable increase in exterior roadside noise for the heavy vehicle.


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



Persistent Identifier