William R. Meyers
Psychol. Dept., M.L. #376, Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221
Ernest M. Weiler
Jo Ann Sparnall
Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221
In Jan. 1991 the Greater Cincinati Airport opened a new runway whose traffic flies directly over heavily populated residential areas which had little prior exposure to aircraft noise. Our evaluative study design replicated with modifications the classic and influential Appleyard and Lintell [(1969); Appleyard, Livable Streets (1981)] studies of the effects of auto traffic on residential life. As did Appleyard and Lintell, three streets were chosen called High, Medium, and Low, based on observed noise levels (and dBA measures of flights; many were found to be in the 90 to 100 dBA range), and conducted, using their questionnaire, 36 structured in-depth interviews with 12 randomly sampled households on each street, concerning five components of ``perceived livability'': traffic hazard; psychological stress, social interaction with neighbors; privacy and home territory; and environmental awareness. Residents gave numerical ratings of these components, as well as giving detailed verbal descriptions. Using ANOVAS and Tukey tests of the ratings, and structured analyses of the verbal descriptions, we found perceived livability was lowest on the High noise street and highest on the Low noise street, implying that the Appleyard and Lintell model for assessing residential livability effects of auto traffic noise is also useful for air traffic noise.