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February 25, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

Metro's noise, rumble capped

A NEW standard to reduce the noise and shaking produced by subways will go into effect next month, officials said yesterday.

The regulation is a response to concerns that the rapidly expanding subway network - on the march to become the world's largest - is doing incremental damage to the busy city above it.

"The city can hardly foresee those negative effects that caused environmental concerns," said Sun Zhang, a railway and subway expert.

"Most buildings were constructed long before the subways."

Starting in March, Metro train noise is not to exceed 45 decibels in residential and commercial areas during the daytime, and remain under 35db at night.

Meanwhile, the vibrations caused by Metro trains will not be higher than 72db in daytime and 69db at night, according to the standard.

The Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said this will be the first standard of its kind in China.

It was determined according to similar foreign standards and the city's actual condition, officials said.

Some details, such as whether residents can appeal for detection of ground-borne vibrations and noise in their homes, are still under discussion.

The problem has become more urgent as both the city and the Metro have grown. Shanghai plans to have the world's biggest subway system by 2012 with over 500 kilometers of track. It currently runs 10 lines over about 335 kilometers.

Complaints have mounted about vibrations, which may lead to the possible sinking of the buildings along subway routes. Some city dwellers have also been concerned about noise.

"I can feel the floor shaking under my feet as the trains pass by," said a restaurant owner in Wujiang Road near Nanjing Road W., under which Line 2 runs.

Some residents in Xuhui District's Dong'an Road got compensation from the subway builders of Line 4 after the walls and floors in the building cracked because of the construction, reported Southern Weekly in May.

"It is like the garbage house," said Sun.

"Everyone needs one, but not in front of their house."

More than one-quarter of complaints about the subways pertain to noise and vibrations, according to a study by Sun.

The city has at least three laws or regulations about noise control, but none focus on the subways, he said.


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