Most pictures are near the proposed racetrack development site.
The proposed racetrack is meant for high performance vehicles to be driven at NO SPEED LIMIT. From mid-morning until dusk for 7 months of the year, many residents in town and the surrounding areas will clearly hear the noise from the track and skid pad. The higher the speed, the louder the noise. It will be profound and the developer knows this. (See the Developer's failed attempt in Rice County, MN below.)
Cars allowed to accelerate and speed without constraints may create as much as 130-140 decibels of noise, which is approximately equivalent to a military jet taking off. This decibel level can cause immediate damage to the human ear; "this level of noise is audible for miles and could have a significant impact on the health, quality of life, and home value of people living in the long established rural area. An interesting article about race track noise describes noise levels at various tracks and efforts to mitigate the noise."
People aren’t the only ones impacted by noise (defined as unwanted and/or harmful sound). Many animals rely on their sense of sound for survival, and they are particularly vulnerable to noise pollution (prolonged exposure to noise), as it can affect: animal communications for distinctive calls to warn others of danger, attract mates, and identify their own offspring, mating, navigation because people-generated noises (like race car noise) can disorient by either damaging their hearing or causing them to adjust the pitch of their calls which affect communications, foraging since some animals have complex hearing to help them hear prey. People can barely perceive a one-decibel difference, but a study found that for every 1dB increase in noise, owls in the area were 8% less successful at catching prey.
The racetrack will be noisy and the developer knows this, as the Rice County, MN proposal included an effort to obtain a variance from the Minnesota Noise standards, which are also the county noise rules according to county ordinance. The developer advertised, according to the "Stop the Racetrack" in Rice County, MN webpage, that members of this exclusive autobahn club will be able to drive their cars as fast as they want. The developer had described on his Facebook pages about the Rice County, MN racetrack proposal as "a spacious motor sports complex specifically designed for the high-performance car enthusiast, complete with a 5.1 mile road course where you're free to drive as fast as you and your car can go." His website stated, according to the "Stop the Racetrack" in Rice County, MN webpage, the track will "include dual straightaways where drivers can exercise their cars to the max. Without stop signs, speed limits or fear of speeding tickets, drivers can experience the full capabilities of their vehicles."
Under Pierce County regulations, the noise allowed would be between 55-60 decibels. One car race, according to WebMD, has a level as high as 130 decibels. According to Decibel Pro: dB Sound Level Meter, 100 decibels is a high decibel level. It is considered dangerous to human hearing see dB chart below for more info.
Right: Pierce County, WI EDNA for Residential Area (Class A)
The next time you are taking your child to the park, hiking the trail system, fishing, listening to an outdoor concert, grilling out with family, or just opening your windows to let the breeze in, think about the racetrack noise and how it may affect your daily life.
More race car sounds: Click Here.
Decibel Pro: dB Sound Level Meter
The developer produced two noise studies for the Rice County, MN racetrack proposal. The first study was incomplete and Rice County asked for another study that would include the skid pad, go karts, and background noise. Although this study had shortcomings, the engineers use 138 decibels as the noise produced by a car. They modeled the noise cars would produce at 50 ft away. The modeling was performed for various numbers of laps per hour over various lengths of track. In order for the cars to maintain a near 100 decibel range, the cars would have to drive at a slow rates of speed. The developer's engineers refused to specify how fast the cars were traveling in the models, but if you know the number of laps per hour and the length of the track, the speed can be calculated. One example from the report is that no more than 30 laps per hour would be allowed to stay under 103 dB at 50 ft on the track that is 3.7 miles long. If ten cars are on the track, each would be allowed to go around three times during that hour. Three times 3.7 miles is 11 miles per hour. Again, this is eleven miles per hour for each of the ten cars on the track to generate 103 dB at a distance of 50 ft. Read more about this from Select 17 for the Revised Noise Pollution Study at: Click Here.
NOTE: The software models from the developer's Rice County, MN Racetrack proposal consultant showed the race track noise did not comply with the Minnesota standards; for this reason, the "Stop the Racetrack" of Rice County, MN insisted that Rice County either order a more rigorous study, an EIS, or deny the project as required by Minnesota regulations.
Rice County, MN Racetrack Noise Studies
According to the "Stop the Racetrack" in Rice County, MN webpage information, the original noise pollution "study" released as a part of the EAW for Rice County, MN was "incomplete, inadequate, and unscientific. Its conclusory statement that the development could comply with state regulations would be humorous if not for the significant harm noise pollution causes. The July study solely reviewed the racetrack. The two new reports review (1) event / concert venue and (2) racetrack, go-kart track, skid pad, and background noise."
The major flaws with the new report number two on the development were, as stated by the "Stop the Racetrack" in Rice County, MN webpage information:
Of course, the author of the report number 2 was not identified and the report did not include an engineer's signature. A detailed description of flaws in the reports are shown on the Attachments page, Doc 20 on the "Stop the Racetrack" in Rice County, MN webpage The reports are on the same page as Docs 16 and 17.
It is important to note that there were deficiencies of the Noise Study for the proposed racetrack in Rice County, MN and concerned citizens should keep this mind for a racetrack proposal for River Falls, WI. The noise pollution study looked solely at noise from the the road course.The proposed project would have been nearly 500 acres and, as stated in the EAW Project Description, “will include new villas, a recreational road course, kart course, RV Park, convenience market and fuel station, and retail businesses related to automotive recreation.” The EAW further indicated that a large “skid pad” for vehicles, garages for the villas, a exclusive clubhouse, a service/maintenance building, a multi-acre event center, and a service building for the go-kart area, and a fast turnover restaurant were other elements of the proposed Rice County, MN racetrack development proposed project. All of these components of this proposal would also contribute to overall noise pollution.
The Rice County, MN racetrack noise pollution study was limited to computer simulation rather than an analysis that used actual, readily available data on physical automobiles and racing facilities; it also did not actual physical data. Relying solely rely on software to predict noise pollution from the Autobahn project rendered the study inadequate and inaccurate.
Implications of Noise Pollution Study
Keep this in mind when you think about the proposed River Falls, WI racetrack.... The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency began its 2015 publication, A Guide to Noise Control in Minnesota (Noise Guidelines (10)), with the simple sentence: “Noise is a pollutant.” The EAW noise pollution study for the Rice County, MN racetrack confirmed that the noise it would produce would exceed the regulations. A racetrack in River Falls, WI would expose residents to harmful noise pollution. The racetrack would be audible for miles.
Given the results of the Noise Pollution study for the Rice County racetrack proposal, government should be compelled to prevent the proposal from being approved to protect its citizens.
The noise study for Rice County, MN racetrack proposal performed by the developer's consultant did not include any investigation of how much noise to which the villa residents would be exposed. Instead, the consultant used the villas as sound walls. See the actual Noise "study (9)."
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