In this respect Prague is the worst place to live in out of the whole of the Czech Republic; increasing traffic is the main cause of the problem. In spite the gradual construction of the arterial city ring that could take the pressure off some of the worst affected sites in the centre, and despite some new tunnels, the noise is getting increasingly worse faster and faster. Some places in Prague (Veletržní, Legerova or Sokolská streets) experience up to 80dB during the day, why the highest quota set for daylight operation everywhere but in the vicinity of airports is 50 dB.
The noise levels were measured within IOŽIP system in eight designated places from 1984 to 2000. Other observations were made by the Hygienická služba (Hygiene Services), as a part of the nationwide programme of the Státní zdravotní ústav (State Health Institute) called “Monitorování životního prostředí ve vztahu ke zdraví obyvatelstva” (Monitoring of the Environment Related to Population Health). Results of these long-term inspections clearly indicate, that in places with a stabilized traffic solution and respectable traffic capacity the noise levels are under control and don’t change much. Due to the day-long traffic load, however, there are no more rush hours in some places, these more noisy localities are often beyond the noise levels both during the day and the night.
A new way of monitoring noise is with so called Noise Maps, aiming to gather enough data for the creation of maps indicating noise levels and related population stress. These maps are subsequently used for strategic decisions during regional development, most importantly near airports, highways, railways etc. Prague should already have these maps at its disposal and they are planned to be updated every five years. Another set of operational plans will be made by the end of July 2008, following the previous strategic maps.
Source: the annual Praha Životní prostředí 2006