Is your neighborhood noisy? Are you bothered by sounds from car horns, airplanes, loud voices, or barking dogs?
Erica Walker, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health, wants to know.
Walker became fascinated with how noise affects people after she found herself living below a family with two small children.
“The kids would just run around all day,” she said. “I complained to the family, the landlord, the police. In the end, I just moved.”
But Walker continued to ponder the issue, and soon realized she was far from the only person in the Boston area who was plagued by noise. She enrolled in Harvard’s doctoral program and has been studying community noise ever since.
“I’ve found that not only are people complaining about footsteps but all kinds of other noises in their communities,” she said.
The online noise survey, which launched last month and runs through April 1, is just part of Walker’s ongoing research into how people respond to and deal with noise in their communities.
Walker is also working on the creation of a noise map. Armed with what she calls a “mobile noise monitoring station” (a bike, backpack, and monitor), Walker has monitored noise in 350 locations in Boston, and plans to create neighborhood noise report cards to grade communities.
You can take her noise survey here.