Noise barrier walls discussion or put downs?

Submitted by ward14resident on Sat, 08/15/2009 - 16:30.

Okay, I am upset.  I was communicating with someone who is against noiser barrier walls and this is a reply I received.  And when I tried to reply to this post I found the facebook thread was missing and my message was undeliverable.  So much for communication.  The message I received is posted below:


"Tim also commented on his link:

"The cost/benefit analysis was at the meeting you attended, but you had to read
it and reason through a few things. It gave the benefit, in decibels of noise
reduction, and the varied costs were available from the ODOT staff and the
politicians present. There was a big book full of figures they hoped you
wouldn't read, and you didn't. That's on you. After all this time, if you have
trouble talking to people in your own yard, I'd say it's because you haven't
taken responsibility for things yourself these past 40-50 years. We, Gloria and
I, happen to live on a main throroughfare and have adapted through greenery. You
can do the same, once you get off this dependency kick where you expect for the
government to do everything for you and for everybody else to overpay for it."

To see the comment thread,follow the link below:


( categories: )


 dont have such a thin skin?


Oh, my skin is not thin, but

Oh, my skin is not thin, but sometimes my tolerance for arrogance can be. 


Just to keep the record straight I would like to inform him that I put in  greenery more than 30 years ago just to have the "government" cut it down because it was too close to their property. Why should I have to spend more money on something that will happen again. I have evergreens planted in my backyard now, well away from ODOT property.  No reduction in noise yet.  I would also like him to  know that cars have crashed through the ODOT chainlink fence and no one replaced  it until several calls were made . How long should we have to deal with it. He should not assume.



  Tim has called me the B-word and I still consider him a friend...he barks a bite...tail wagger :)

Tim was the one who cut off

Tim was the one who cut off communicatiion....not I. 

And his statement about 'dependency kick' was insulting to say the least.  I have lost my respect for him.  People who talk like that about someone they barely know is no friend of mine.

Sorry, but I am still upset.  I treat people with respect and dignity and I expect the same from others.  Just because someone has an opposing view it does not warrant a derogatory comment. 



I am sorry that you had this experience but I hope that you do try again as you have some good info to give him. Is it possible that the connection dropped or that he went offline? Maybe he had had a bad day and feels like he had talked this one to death. Take Laura's advice that he barks, but doesn't bite

I did talk yesterday to someone familair with greeny to reduce sounds and he thinks that there are certain trees that work and evergreens don't work for this.,


Thanks for the positive

Thanks for the positive remarks. 

And wouldn't you just know it....I planted the wrong type of tree.  LOL!  The problem with plants, at least according to what I have read so far, is that it requires lots of them.

And there just is not enough space to plant that many in the area where the houses are adjacent to I71.  If there are plants that can absorb the same amount of noise that the noise

barrier will absorb, of course they would be preferable to a wall.  But, what plant is it?  If someone knows please tell us.

Ohio Agricultural Extension Service

Ward 14 Res, why don't you get on the web and do some research?  Not sure I have right title but I've contacted them before and found to be very helpful .  The hedgerows in England are yew.  I'm not sure how well they'd do in our climate.  The slender new branches  eventually grow as thick as your arm.  People plant flowering vines next to them and they are beautiful as well as haven for a myriad of tiny creatures.  Surely we have something equivalent.  Report back to us, please.  Kate

Kate, Yes, I can get on the


Yes, I can get on the web and search for the answer to my question.  But, I was hoping that the people who are against the noise barriers who are insisting that greenery can reduce the noise and that noise barriers are not needed would be able to share their knowledge with me. 

I have researched and what I have found so far is that greeenery can be used to reduce sound but there needs to be a lot of it planted in close proximity so they you can not see over it or through it.  There was one site that mentioned cottonwood trees, poplar trees and one other that I forgot the name. 

The problem stems from the fact that the freeway is too close to some properties.  There is not enough room to plant that many trees or shrubs.

Hi Kate, Yews.  Thanks for

Hi Kate,

Yews.  Thanks for the information.  I think they are native to our area, but I will check. I like the flowering vine idea too.


Yews are evergreens.  I

Yews are evergreens.  I looked them up.  The ones that can be used in our area are recommended to be planted in a shady area.   My backyard has full sun for most of the day.

I will have to keep looking. 

trees and shrubs to buffer noise - not likely

<Highway engineers can seldom rely on trees and shrubs to buffer noise. A band of vegetation thick enough so that people could not see through it would provide much the same psychological relief as a solid wall, and most travelers would rather look at trees and bushes than at concrete. But an expanse of vegetation such as evergreen trees with dense undergrowth would have to be a hundred feet deep to reduce the sound level by five decibels, according to William Bowlby, a traffic-noise expert at Vanderbilt University. In most instances the expanse would have to be even deeper. "You almost never can find existing vegetation along a highway that could give you a significant sound reduction in a hundred feet," Armstrong says. "If we planted the right type of trees and ground cover-at considerable expense-it would take five to ten years for it to produce a five-decibel reduction.">

The above was taken from this article:

ODOT walls are tax payer fraud

 I hope that I am not being too personal Ward 14 resident in asking how long have you lived in your house?  If you lived in the house before and after the highway was built, I am sure that you are entitled to some compensation for the devaluation of your property. 

Meanwhile, the highway has been here since the late 1960s and early 1970s.  I remember my aunt visiting houses with her architect friend to salvage some of the beautiful woodwork and detailing from the houses torn down in the route of the highway. 

Please realize this extremely late in the game "solution" to the noise problem for what it is --another opportunity to scam taxpayers and award a state contract to an extremely large construction firm Arcadis.--part of the corruption that extends beyond Cuyahoga County all the way to the statehouse to Washington D.C. 


We don't need WALLS. We need bridges.

Ward 14 has been taken for a ride. 

Imcshane,I have been in my


I have been in my home since 1967.  My husband and I bought it soon after the freeway access road was built.  We needed a place to live because the owner of the home we were renting was selling it.  It was almost impossible for us to rent another place at that time as we had young children and very few people wanted to rent to people with young children. We had very little money but my husband was a veteran and we bought our home on a GI Loan.  There weren't the same rules in place as there is now to avoid discriminating against people with children; so we bought what we could afford. 

The noise  was not that bad when we bought because the traffic was not as heay as it is now. 

When the noise barriers started being erected our area did not get one.  When I asked why I was told our community didn't want it.  I was never asked my opinion and my neighbors on both sides of me and across the stree were never mailings to ask our opinion, no one coming to our door to ask our opinion.  As a matter of fact I have sill not recieved the mailing that ODOT was supposed to be sending out to the people who have homes that abut the freeway.  Why are all those impacted by the decision not notified by mail and given the opportunity to voice their opinion? Not everyone attends community meetings. 

What is even more troubling to me than the noise is the way that certain community activist go about getting what they want by disenfranchising those who don't agree with them.  Why not change construction firms if the one selected by ODOT is currupt instead of killing the noise abatement project?  I am sure there is at least one construction firm that is honest.

The lesson learned is that when new highways are erected in the future it is important to consider the impact on the community and leave enough space between the homes and the highways.  And never buy a home that abuts a highway or a potential highway.  It is not worth the price.

Lesson learned after 42 years?

Ward 14 homeowner--

Don't you agree that we have greater needs for our infrastructure $$$ today?  You have lived here for 42 years, I have lived here for 10 years.

Ask yourself, why was the proposal to lower the access roads, taken off the table?  This would have significantly mitigated the effect your house sustains from the highway.

And, what ever happened to the pedestrian bridge that would join our neighborhoods so that we could actually communicate and interact as neighbors? 

I don't plan on going anywhere, Ward 14--I am here to stay and fight for this community.  I hope you plan to stay here, too.  We can not continue to allow local official to use federal poverty dollars to rape our community.  Ward 14 is the gateway to NEO for immigrant families. 

It was the first place in NEO, where my mother's family, displaced from World War II and communism in Eastern Europe, settled, attended school, and worked in the factories--my grandmother as a garment worker and my grandfather, educated in Hungary as an attorney, and who spent the rest of his life in factory labor.  How many other immigrants have had this experience in Ward 14?

Of course, the local political machine knows that is the American experience. Start at the bottom rung of the ladder and climb your way to the top.  For too long, Ward 14 has been the bottom rung. 

Please Ward 14--don't let the machine continue to use us.  Please reject the ODOT walls and for the sake of your community--please vote for Nelson Cintron Jr. this Tuesday, September 8th.



Yes, there are greater

Yes, there are greater needs...but the money was not offered for those other least no one told me that if the noise barriers are not built then the money can be used for this, or this,or this.  Nothing like that was said, except for using a small portion of the money to plant greenery.  It sounds to me like if we don't use the money for the noise barriers it will be lost, not given back to the community to be used for something else that is useful for the community.  I could be wrong as I don't follow politcal workings that closely, and I have no insider information, I only know what I read and what I hear at meetings when I go.  (I am not a community activist - I am a peaceful homeowner).

I was also wondering what happened to the proposal to lower the access roads.  No one told me why that idea was scrapped.

I remember the discussion about the pedestrian bridge though, I was at the meeting when that was discussed.  There were people at the meeting who voiced objection to the pedestrian bridge because they were afraid that it would draw what they consider the riff raff of our society and set people up for getting mugged, robbed, etc.  I voted FOR the pedestrian bridge because I thought it would be good to connect the community, especially since my street was then part of Ward 15.  But, the leaders and shakers of Ward 15 did not like he idea of having people from the other side of the bridge having walkable access to thier area,  I am guessing.  And from what is happening with the noise barrier discussion I can see how a few community activist like to have things done their way and like to control things.  As you can see there is no bridge and there is no more discussion about a bridge.  That idea was killed.



I talked to ODOT last week

I talked to Tom Sorge from ODOT last week and he said the deadline for input to the Noise Abatement Interstate 71 Noise Barrier Project PID 82713 is September 4, 2009.  If they do not receive a response by the deadline, they will count that as having no opinion regarding construction of noise abatement.  A low response rate from the adjacent property owners is considered to demonstrate a lack of interest in getting noise abatement and may result in no noise abatement for this location.

Oddly enough, he also mentioned that he has not received responses from Riverside, which has homes adjacent to the IR-71 between West 25th Street and Fulton Avnue.  He said that our council members were getting the needed mailings out to the homes that are in the area impacted by the noise from I71.  I am wondering if any mailings ever reached the people who live on Riverside?  It would be wrong if this area was bypassed because it would not give the people who live in these homes which are adjacent to IR-71 a voice in the decision.  Mr. Sorge told me that he was going to get some questionnaires out to that area. 

I am concerned that people who are the most impacted by the noise were not contacted in the past when the decision was made to not erect noise barriers on the grounds that the community did not want them.  It would be wrong if people were purposely excluded by withholding information from them.  I am not saying that this happened but it could have happened because in the past when the decision was made against the noise barrier walls, I was never contacted for my opinion and neither were some of my neighbors.  I wonder if anyone from Poe and Riverside were asked if they wanted noise barrier walls when that decision was made in the past?  That would be wrong. 

I think that instead of depending on volunteers to disseminate information that involves community input these 'mailings' need to be sent out in the US mail so everyone in the community receives the information.  It is too easy for certain areas to be bypassed otherwise. 


My mom's street dead ends into 71 in this area (about 500'). She and the neighbors have not received notices. It is up to ODOT to provide notices. 


Did these city council reps award the state contract?

I know that this is election time, so issues are floating around, passions running high, that there is both truth and non-truth in all of the issues.

I think that the issue for me here is ODOT delegating their responsibilty to local ward councilpersons, not the council reps themselves. While I hate these noise barriers, the appearance, the isolation, I think that the people closest to them are being misused. A lack of participation is implied consent to the result that ODOT thinks is best. The process of notification and engagement of those most effected is insufficent. I see this process repeated by all levels of government, and think that it is a reflection of how lower income people are treated.


  No DWebb--the Council folks do not award the contracts.  ODOT--you trust ODOT, right?!--awards the contracts.  But, to feign no knowledge of this process?  Cummins, Santiago and Cimperman knew that this would be dumped on us.  This is the second try DWebb.  ODOT tried to get everyone to rollover in 2005.  Were you here?  Residents vocally said "NO!"

So, why pretend that this is not part of the game?  Brian Cummins also knows and knew the environmental situation at Fern Court/Denison, where federal/state monies are also being played with the NRP Denison Senior Housing proposal. 

And--yes--we can agree on one thing DWebb--this is HOW lower-incomed people are TREATED.




 I could be snide and ask where were you as this was a community group meeting that was specific for that area and it looks like what you heard and what was actually said were not the same. But I won't be snide. Rather, I will refer you to the plain press archive for that subject at

It looks like the ODOT 10 year cycle is continuing and that in 2005 people were at odds in the area about what they wanted, including the pedestrian bridge. 

Be nice if all voices were heard and some consensus reached before ODOT says "enough" and disregards everyone. When people are polarized, they are weak, especially when it involves the big "G".



Here's the Plain Press link

In fact, such a bridge would have the potential to be the most utilized bridge of its kind within the City of Cleveland, as well as in the Northeast Ohio region.”

 We need bridges--NOT walls.

The problem in 2005 was that

The problem in 2005 was that ODOT offered to lower the access roads to mitigate the noise and some of the residents thought this was a better idea than the barrier walls.  But now that their will be no lowering of the access roads the barrier wall discussion reemerges.  It is not right to say that the residents of the area do not want the barrier walls based on what they chose in 2005 because the choices have changed since that time. 

Some of us who live adjacent to I71 want the walls now even though we may have preferred the option of lowering the road when that was still an option.  The fact that it is no longer an option changes everything.

I vote YES for the barrier wall.  I prefer quiet over noise.  And I don't think they look bad at all. 



dwebb, You can contact Tom


You can contact Tom Sorge, District Environmental Specialist at 216 584 2086 and he will send out the questionaire.  Maybe he can fax the form to you since their is not much time left to submit the response.

This is my concern that some people who live adjacent to I71 did not receive the questionare. 

From what I understood from my conversation with Tom Sorge is that the councilmen were having volunteers deliver the notices to the houses.  I don't think ODOT was mailing them, although I think that would have been a better way to assure that everyone in the area received the notice. 


PDF of the questionaire re:

PDF of the questionaire re: noise barrier walls on I71

If you live on Poe or Riverside please make an effort to pass this information on to your neighbors so they can have a voice. 


Deadline is Sept. 4, 2009. 

Deadline is Sept. 4, 2009.  The deadline has been changed to Sept. 4, 2009 so you still have time to send in your response to the questionaire. 

A Noise Barrier presentation is available for viewing

at the following website:

If you have any questions about the noise abatement and/or have not received a questionaire call Dom Sorge, Environmental Specialist at 216 584 2086 or email him at Tom [dot] Sorge [at] dot [dot] state [dot] oh [dot] us



with greenery

If the barriers go up, can you ask that greenery growth not be interrupted? There could be noise reduction and green.

image courtesy kokowall (sorry that I could not rush out and get one myself - this is not meant to advertise)


There are also barrier walls with pockets built in to hold plantings so that they look better.

Here's the ARCADIS contract award

  Scroll through the pdf for contract 82713 on page 4:

What are the "consultants" paid to do with our money??