Personal interviews were conducted with 562 freeway‐proximal residents and 134 residents in control neighborhoods. Five factor‐analyzed scales were used to measure community response to freeway noise in terms of (1) subjective reactions and (2) behavioral interruptions due to noise. The social survey allowed for spontaneously mentioned and directly elicited responses. Noise exposure was measured by an Environmental Noise Classifier; one representative noise sample was taken for every residence, and L10, L50, L90, NPL, and TNI were computed. These noise measures correlated highly with each other, except TNI, and none of the measures demonstrated superiority over the others as a predictor of community response. Community response was analyzed as a function of noise level, and all response scales increased with increasing noise levels; for example, freeway noise was reported by 50% as the main cause of dissatisfaction, by 13% as main cause for complaints, by 25% as the reason for wanting to move, and by 43% as the reason for awakening at night. Noise levels correlated 0.99 with mean annoyance ratings for groups of residents within specified noise strata, and 0.31 for ratings based on individual annoyance scores.
Subject Classification: 50.70, 50.50, 50.20, 50.75.