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Noise Study Shows High Decibel Readings Along Bloomfield

VIBRATION DAMAGE: A Cerritos resident sent in a picture claiming damage done by trucks.

One area registered 97 decibels, with all others averaging 85 decibels in a 24-hour period.

BY BRIAN HEWS

A report by Acoustics Group, Inc., the firm hired by the city of Cerritos to monitor and study truck noise on Bloomfield, logged some extremely alarming numbers during the initial monitoring, with some hours of the day hitting over 93 decibels.

The consulting firm was hired after a group of citizens pressured the city into the study and will be an integral part of the upcoming December 12 Council meeting which will consider changing the truck routes in Cerritos.

The truck noise problem can be traced to the closures in and around the 5 freeway forcing trucks traveling westbound on the 91 freeway to exit on Carmenita, driving north on Carmenita to Alondra.

Trucks going eastbound are forced to exit on Bloomfield, turning north to Alondra.

According to residents the trucks are heading to several facilities on the Cerritos-Norwalk border off of Alondra including UPS and a former Vons distribution center.

Residents who live along Carmenita between Artesia and Alondra and in Granada Park near Bloomfield and Alondra got fed up with the noise and vibration and wrote HMG-LCCN demanding something be done about the traffic.

The combination of efforts from HMG-LCCN and residents produced the discussions and study to look at changing the situation along Bloomfield.

The City is now looking at two options, based on the study.

The first is the development and implementation of a City ordinance to reroute and/or restrict truck traffic along Bloomfield Avenue.

The ordinance would restrict the traveling of trucks on Bloomfield Avenue to certain hours only. 

The feasibility of rerouting trucks from Bloomfield Avenue to alternate routes is also being evaluated.

The second option was the development of sound abatement strategies along Bloomfield Avenue to reduce the noise impact of trucks. As part of these possible sound abatement measures, the City will explore the possibility of the complete rehabilitation of this segment of Bloomfield Avenue.

Acoustics Group performed 24-hour noise measurements in four different locations, logging the noise level every second then processing the measurements into hourly intervals. 

The study also counted the number of trucks passing the locations

The study then categorized the minimum and maximum decibel measurements and averaged the measurements for each hour.

When measuring noise levels with a sound level meter, the intensity of noise in units called decibels (dB). A logarithmic scale is used, using 10 as the base, rather than a linear scale, this scale is called the decibel scale.

The study found “high heavy truck traffic noise levels continuing into the nighttime period, 2 AM with 111 heavy trucks  at 2 AM and 192 heavy trucks at 2 PM.” 

And in what is sure to anger residents the Acoustics stated in an email, “additionally, the heavy trucks appear to be traveling faster at 2 AM because there is less congestion.  When the trucks drive over the discontinuous low point in the pavement at a higher rate of speed, the truck chassis shakes more violently and causes a higher sound level compared to the 2 PM hour.” 

In looking at the numbers, three zones along Bloomfield averaged 84 decibels throughout the 24-hour period, with the other zone averaging 80.

But the zone averaging the lowest decibels recorded the highest sound level at 1 PM, hitting nearly 100 decibels.

The other zones hit 94 decibels at 9 AM, 91 at 9AM, 95 at 9 PM, and 97 at 1 PM.

Surprisingly, Acoustics did not perform a vibration study.

City staff is preparing a report about the various options to mitigate truck traffic noise on Bloomfield Avenue for the Cerritos City Council’s consideration at the upcoming Dec. 12 City Council meeting.

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