How roadside noise barriers are designed to absorb sound and evade attention
The freeway sound wall may be as overlooked as it is ubiquitous. Lining interstates and highways and freeways across the United States, these concrete and cinderblock structures are a blur in the peripheral vision of our automotive world.
This is partially by design: sound walls serve the utilitarian role of blocking and containing the tremendous noise generated by high speed transportation, and they’re built to do their job without distracting the people driving past in thousand-pound vehicles at more than 100 feet per second.
Loud groups of motorcyclists have been disturbing neighbors in the Pacific Palisades for years.
In the still of the night, on the quiet and mostly empty streets of the Village in Pacific Palisades, there’s a humming in the distance. Within moments the hum grows from a whir to a buzz to a scream as a line of motorcycles whizzes by.
It’s a sound familiar to many in the Palisades, where for years groups of motorcyclists have ridden in large packs through town, screaming down Sunset Boulevard almost like clockwork most Wednesday nights around 10 o’clock, broadcasting their high-pitched exhaust to echo off the hillsides.