FOLDER. Noise pollution: pollution that is starting to make noise in Ajaccio

In a city in full growth, the impression of an amplified sound volume is felt by many Ajaccians. Two-wheelers are mainly singled out. If no quantified data is yet available, Capa is considering ways to combat noise

All Ajacciens questioned on the question draw the same observation: the noise is too high in town.

“It is unbearable, whether you are at home or sitting on the terrace of a cafe, not a minute goes by without being attacked by the infernal sound of a scooter with a faked exhaust which passes through allure “, launches an exasperated inhabitant of Cours Napoléon.

“All renovations in the city center are done with double or triple glazing, it is essential”, we point out at Muffragi materials.

If its sources are many and varied – neighborhood, nightlife, construction machinery, air conditioning installed outside buildings * – the noise produced by two-wheelers is the most frequently cited by the population, who have experienced calm unprecedented during the two months of confinement.

The town hall, which is responsible for amplified noise on public roads, explains that it receives a growing number of complaints related to noise pollution.

With the health crisis, the issue of discomfort caused by nightlife is less significant, that of motorcycles and scooters remains unresolved.



billion euros per year: this is the cost of the health and social impact of noise in France, according to a 2016 report by Ernst & Young commissioned by the National Noise Council and the Environment and Energy control (Ademe)


decibels, this is the risk threshold for noise exposure according to Ademe. The latter sets the pain threshold at 120 dB. The noise “way” of city traffic is estimated at 80 dB. Hearing damage is amplified by the duration of exposure as well as by the juxtaposition of other noise pollution, such as motorcycles (97 dB) or jackhammers (110 dB).

Towards the installation of noise reduction radars?

The hygiene and health service is working on it, says the mayor’s office. We plan to discuss with the prefecture for the installation of noise radars, on the model of what is done in Paris “.

In the Paris region, in fact, the municipalities are stepping up initiatives to reduce noise pollution caused by two-wheeler traffic.

For example, the city of Puteaux has just equipped its municipal police officers with a very precise sound level meter, those whose machines exceed the authorized threshold are liable to a fine of 135 euros.

In Ajaccio, the sound level meter is precisely the device which is lacking for the police to issue a ticket.

We organize checks on the exhaust pipes with dedicated equipment, but we are not equipped with sound level meters, explains Captain Fabrice Menier, head of departmental security. The This is an expensive device, for which we have no endowment, and which requires regular calibration. The problem of noise from two-wheelers has come up to us a lot. We work with curvometers that measure the instantaneous speed of two wheels. Noise and speed are linked. For the 50 cm3, the speed is limited to 45 km / h. However, we note that they are regularly tampered with to go up to 60 km / h. In addition, we have a vehicle on which is boarded a radar which allows us to increase the number of checks “.

“Manufacturers respect European standards”

However, the use of two-wheelers makes it possible to facilitate traffic in the city, does not fail to counterbalance the police: “Can you imagine the Napoleon course if there were only cars?”.

To escape the traffic jams, the Ajaccians are indeed more and more numerous to get on scooters or motorcycles.

The city’s dealers thus note an increase in the number of vehicles sold (outside 2020, a particular year with the confinement and shutdown of part of the economy).

They all point out that the standards in force are respected: “The noisiest two-wheelers are the 50 cm3, explains one at Moto Hall. These are the vehicles where you can easily put your hands. However, since 2015, this type of vehicle has been banned because it no longer passed pollution standards. We sold around 130 to 150 per year, in Ajaccio, for customers aged 13 to 14. Today, they are bought on Leboncoin “.

For the boss of Lucchini Motos, seller of the Honda brand, the noise comes from small two-wheelers and some large engines: “A new European standard will be implemented with regard to noise and pollution on 1is next January, manufacturers like Honda will respect them. “

At Harley Davidson, whose engine roar is appreciated as much as feared, the Ajaccian dealer says, without further comment: “Our motorcycles meet European and French regulations.”

In the agglomeration community of Ajaccian country, noise reduction is “at the heart of urban displacement voted in March 2019 “, underlines Éric Salord, general manager of Capa’s services for the (read box).

A long-term job that is only just beginning, pending the arrival of a sound level meter or the placement of noise-canceling radars to relieve the ears of Ajacciens.

* The site of the Noise Information Center (CidB) answers questions about noise and the management of the noise environment.

Noise has gone from the status of nuisance to that of pollution since the mobility orientation law of 2018. - Florent Selvini

While the Bastia agglomeration community has signed a partnership with the Acoucité platform (read below) in December 2019, Capa is also committed to the fight against noise pollution.

“The noise problem is at the heart of the urban travel plan voted in March 2019, recalls Eric Salord, the CEO of Capa in charge of planning, alongside Jérémy Visconti, the head of the energy, air and noise department.

The director continues: “The objective is to reduce noise by reducing traffic, developing alternative modes of travel such as cycling and public transport. We wanted to go further by carrying out noise measurement campaigns in all areas. Ajaccio neighborhoods during confinement. We thus have noise state 0 and we have compared it with that generated by road traffic after confinement. These data are being analyzed. Once they will be studied , we will be able to work on action plans between the services of Capa, the city and those of the State. Ultimately the objective is to create noise maps “.

Bruno Vincent, doctor in psychoacoustics, member of the national noise council.  - DCM

Bruno Vincent, doctor in psycho-acoustics applied to the environment, member of the national noise council, former director of the “Acoucité” platform

You have directed Acoucité for a very long time, created in 1996 at the initiative of Grand Lyon. What does this association offer?

Noise in a metropolis like Lyon has become a major social issue. There are several types of noise, environmental noise, transport, neighborhood noise.

And several skills. In metropolises of more than 100,000 inhabitants, directives require the creation of strategic noise maps.

Today we have 8 noise observatories, in Lyon, Grenoble, St Etienne, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Toulouse, Monaco and Bastia which integrated the device two years ago.

We are working on four axes: diagnosis, by supporting them when there is urban development, on awareness-raising, civic and school education, and finally on research and development.

There are possible actions in the short, medium and long term. In the short term, it is a question of changing the surface or reducing the speed in the city, in the medium term, it is to organize the city differently by developing public transport, in the long term it is a change total paradigm in terms of organization of travel.

Pollution difficult to treat?

Our societies have been structuring themselves in cities for 3000 years. The first text on noise dates from ancient Rome with the ban on carriages between midnight and 5 a.m.

Noise is a complicated subject because in terms of neighborhood, we are all potentially victims and perpetrators.

The concern is also based on the very great legal complexity and difficulty in applying the law *.

France is one of the countries which have important and complex regulations. There are several types of noise and each time, their observations require skills and resources.

Noise, a subjective notion?

The factors of variability of the discomfort are infinite by their temporality, their physical characteristics, their intensity, they are as complex as human nature.

A very impulsive noise startles, a slow uphill noise will not. The most annoying noise is the one you don’t want to hear.

Thus, we better endure the party of a neighbor with whom we get along well. Another factor: the notion of utility.

The sound that is not considered useful is less tolerated, that which is associated with a behavior, such as that of the exhausts of two-wheeled vehicles mounted by adolescents, who express themselves in this way.

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