Pavement treatment type influences visitor experiences related to vehicular road sound in Death Valley National Park

Zachary D. Miller, William L. Rice, Peter Newman, B. Derrick Taff, Jake Gottschalk, Caleb Meyer, J. Adam Beeco

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    In many parks and protected areas around the globe, reducing human-caused sounds is a critical component to providing quality visitor experiences. However, very little research examines the effect of vehicular road sounds on visitor experiences. Additionally, emerging pavement treatments have the potential to provide a new management tool for reducing impacts from vehicular road sounds. In this research, intercept surveys of visitors in Death Valley National Park and dose-response methods are used to identify the impacts of vehicular road sounds using normative concepts. The effects of different pavement treatments on visitor experiences are also evaluated. Results show that increasing vehicular road sounds have a negative impact on visitor experiences. Furthermore, Type II microsurfacing pavement treatments have a larger negative impact on visitor experiences than other pavement treatments. From this, managers of parks and protected areas can better understand the impacts of vehicle road sounds on visitor experiences, and possibly further reduce impacts through the use of pavement treatments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)211-223
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Ecotourism
    Volume20
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2021

    Keywords

    • national parks
    • Soundscapes
    • thresholds
    • vehicles
    • visitor use management

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