Visual Intrusion Impact of Residential Traffic

by Gerald R. Brown, Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
Donald F. Park, Grad. Student; Community and Regional Planning, Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 5, Pg. 468-483

Document Type: Journal Paper


An investigation of the nature of visual intrusion impact of traffic in residential neighbourhoods is presented. The specific purpose of the study is to discover if residents perceive and respond to visual intrusion of traffic in accordance with their situation and socioeconomic characteristics. The method is an attitudinal survey questionnaire of 111 residents of three socially different districts in a medium size city. Results show that residents of different situation and socioeconomic characteristics perceive the visual intrusion problem differently, and that parked vehicles may have a greater impact than anticipated. A second result showed that, based on resident responses, the tolerable street traffic in the districts studied for visual intrusion impact was between 650 and 990 vehicles per hour. It is concluded that better management of parked cars in residential districts will reduce visual intrusion impact, and that traffic flow for visually-related environmental capacity of residential streets is the same order of magnitude as noise-related environmental capacity. A design procedure for application is suggested.

Subject Headings: Social factors | Traffic capacity | Traffic analysis | Vehicle impacts | Streets | Traffic flow | Environmental issues | Surveying methods

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