design

Reference Notes

NOISE ATTENUATION WALLS ALONG RAIL LINES
This Design Reference Note is to provide guidelines for the construction of noise attenuation walls along rail lines, to reduce their attraction for graffiti. The guidelines were developed in conjunction with the Mississauga Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Advisory Committee, and endorsed by Council on November 26, 1997. Introduction: The City of Mississauga is home to the first, third and fourth busiest rail lines in Canada. The view in and around the rail lines has significantly deteriorated due to the increase in graffiti. The tolerance of graffiti leaves an increasingly poor impression to the millions of people who travel by rail throughout the city. New residential developments require walls along rail lines for safety purposes in case of train derailments and for noise attenuation. To a graffiti writer, a blank wall along a highly visible route in the City represents an opportunity for graffiti. The following design guidelines are to lessen the graffiti potential on noise attenuation walls. Noise Attenuation Wall Criteria: The City of Mississauga specifies that all noise attenuation walls along rail lines be constructed using only precast concrete, concrete block or brick, or approved composite materials, with a maximum height of 2.4 m (8 ft.).

Graffiti Problem: Noise attenuation walls along rail lines are targeted by a graffiti writer because of the high visibility to the public but also the locations are secluded during parts of the day to allow for their work to take place without intervention by the police or by the public. The graffiti problems on noise attenuation walls occur when the design allows for a blank flat surface which creates a drawing board for the graffiti writer. By eliminating the blank flat surfaces of a noise attenuation wall, the drawing board is eliminated.

Example of Graffiti on Noise Wall

Volume 0397

December 1997

design

Reference Notes
Access Control: To further prevent graffiti on noise attenuation walls, access should be prevented or hindered by the use of landscaping and berming. The landscaping should consist of a variety of types of large shrubs planted in a continuous row near the base of the noise attenuation wall on the rail line side. Since the landscaping will be situated in a harsh environment and with very little possibility for maintenance, the plant material must be hardy, medium to fast growing and maintenance free. The landscaping should consist of a variety of types of shrubs (a minimum of 0.6 m (2 ft.) high when installed) planted in a continuous row spaced approximately 1.5 m (5 ft.) apart and located 1 m (3.2 ft.) out from the base of the noise attenuation wall on the side of the berm adjacent to the rail line. The shrubs should be mass planted in groups of five to fifteen with double rows occasionally to add interest and diversity, if possible. When choosing the type of plant material, consideration should be given to the provision of diversity and interest through the use of different leaf and twig colours, fall colours, flowers, growth rates, heights and shrub or tree forms. When a berm is required along with a noise attenuation wall, the berm should be constructed with 2:1 slope on the rail line side.

NOISE ATTENUATION WALLS ALONG RAIL LINES
Design Solutions: To minimize the blank flat surface, the noise attenuation walls should be designed to incorporate the following:
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different textures with the use of patterns such as ribbed pre-cast concrete panels. no blank flat precast panels within reach of a person. (2 m (6.5 ft.) in height from grade). the use of different colour panels in the form of patterns such as accent banding.

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Noise attenuation wall detailing example

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design

Reference Notes
The use of these solutions is encouraged for new developments as well as already existing areas of concern. This Design Reference Note is to be applied in conjunction with any requirements, guidelines and/or policies for noise attenuation walls and for rail safety noted in the City (Official) Plan and from the City’s Transportation & Works Dept., the Ministry of Environment & Energy and the applicable rail line authorities.

NOISE ATTENUATION WALLS ALONG RAIL LINES
The following is a recommended list of plant material for these situations:
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Russian Olive (Eleagnus angustifolia) Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) Shadblow Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis) Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) Yellowtwig Dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’) Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum) Wayfaring Tree (Viburnum lantana) Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) High Bush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum)

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Volume 0397

December 1997

design

Reference Notes

NOISE ATTENUATION WALLS ALONG RAIL LINES

For additional information please contact the City of Mississauga Planning and Building Department, Development and Design Division, 11th Floor, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L5B 3C1 Telephone: (905) 896-5511.

Volume 0397

December 1997

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