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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Noise Pollution

Noise as a quality of life issue is often overlooked. One of the major detractors on Easton's north side is the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (D.R.J.T.B.C.) . For years the Bridge commission has been a bad neighbor' lowering property value and rattling nerves, windows, and foundations . The 1974 Environmental Protection Act grandfathered them in' they have never had to address the noise that their Rt.22 ramps create; yet the E.P.A required sound barriers on the Rt.78 bridge . The traffic on the Rt.22 bridge is only 50ft from homes and it has no sound barriers. Compounding the problem are the rumble strips , the failure to enforce the speed limits, and the lack of a "no engine braking" law for diesel trucks. The Commission’s plan to partner with Easton and Phillipsburg to fund projects outside commission property is admirable but the commission should find solutions to it's noise pollution problem first. All one needs do is go to the riverside under the bridges to realize that the planned Bushkill Greenway, Easton Riverside Park and Phillipsburg waterfront projects are located under a roaring highway, People don't use recreation areas that are as loud as a 747 lifting off an airport runway. The councils and administrations on both sides of the river should press the Commission and their respective D.O.T.'s for answers to the Rt. 22 noise pollution problem if they want to attract visitors to the area and improve the quality of life for residents.

Kevin Ruppert

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