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Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Noise Reduction Technologies to Support Off Hour Deliveries(25733)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Impacts from freight activities are profound and complex. While the freight system is a crucial contributor to a vibrant economy and a key determinant to quality of life, it is also a major source of fuel consumption, environmental pollution, unwanted noise and potential safety hazards. Incorporating freight activity into the fabric of metropolitan areas in a way that maximizes efficiency and minimizes negative externalities is extremely important to support vibrant economies and the quality of life citizens expect. In pursuit of this goal, during the 2007-2010 period, with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the proactive participation of the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (hereinafter “the Contractor”) led a pilot test project aimed at increasing off-hour deliveries (OHD) between 7:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Following the success of the pilot testing project, the USDOT has funded the second phase research dealing with the implementation of OHD, which started in January 2011 and led jointly by the Contractor and NYCDOT. In spite of the great promise of the OHD concept, there are a number of important issues remaining to be addressed, most notably the noise caused by commercial vehicles. With lower ambient noise levels during off hours, delivery noises can be even more disturbing.

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Project Description

The goals of this study are to develop a preliminary design of noise control standards in different types of communities and evaluate alternative noise mitigation strategies and technologies. In pursuit of these goals, the study will aim at achieving the following objectives: To gain a thorough understanding of citizens’ concerns over noise; to assess impacts of noise on communities; and to identify appropriate commercial vehicle noise reduction technologies and strategies. Together, it is anticipated that these activities will help mitigate the negative impacts of OHD on local communities, thus ensuring the viability of this USDOT-sponsored project and its broader application in the State of New York.


OHD is an innovative freight demand management policy that has the potential to enhance system performance, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote community livability. It is estimated that if fully implemented, OHD will save all highway users in Manhattan approximately 3-5 minutes per trip and will potentially save carriers about 48 minutes per delivery tour in travel time and 1-3 hours per tour in service time. It is also estimated that OHD could lead to economic savings of $100-200 million per year from the travel time savings and pollution reduction alone. Also, truck noise reduction may help improve drivers’ physical and psychological health, alleviate driver fatigue, make it easier for drivers to notice ambient noise and identify hazardous situations, and reduce bike accidents and pedestrian related accidents.

Project Results


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Research Adm & Finance, 4th Fl West Hall 110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180

Principle Investigator

Cara Wang

Universities Involved

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Med/Heavy Duty

NYSERDA Contact Information

Joseph Tario


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 5/4/2012 1
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 25733

Last Updated: 3/8/2012 1