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Healthfulness

pavement, pavements, dust, joints and noise

HEALTHFULNESS.

The effect of a pavement upon the health of the residents of its locality will be affected by the tendency of•the materials composing it to decay, by its permea bility, and by its degree of freedom from noise and dust.

The permeability of a road surface is important on account of the tendency of surface water and refuse matter to penetrate and saturate it, and thus cause it to become dangerous to health. A continuous sheet pavement is the most desirable in this particular, and a block pavement with open joints the least so: When, however, the joints of a block pavement are properly cemented, the pavement may be made nearly imper vious, and any of the pavements in common use, when well constructed, are practically impervious to water.

Noiselessness. The noise made by traffic upon a pavement is important not only because of its effect upon the comfort of the people using it or living adjacent to it, but also because to it are frequently attributed many nervous disorders to which people in some cities are subject.

Stone-block pavements are the most objectionable in this particular, causing a continual roar, due both to the rumbling of wheels over them and the blows of the horses' feet upon them. Upon asphalt the noise is only that due to the horses' feet, giving a sharp, clicking sound. Upon wood the horses produce no appreciable sound; but wheels give a dull rumble, generally considered the least objectionable of any of the noises made by the more common pavements. The noise of wood pavements is diminished by mak ing the joints between blocks small, and a well con structed wood-block pavement is usually the least noisy of the pavements in common use. The noise

made by traffic upon a brick pavement varies with the method of construction. The clicking sound made by horses is less than on asphalt, but the rumble of vehicles is greater, the rumble being usually more objectionable with hydraulic cement than with bitu minous or sand-filled joints, although when proper expansion joints are used with cement joints the noise is not excessive.

Broken-stone roads are less noisy than any of the harder pavements excepting wood blocks, while earth roads are the most desirable on this account when in smooth condition.

Freedom from Dust. The dust arising from a pave ment is objectionable on the score of health as well as of comfort. For the most part the dust found upon city pavements is produced from dirt carried there from the outside. To eliminate this it is necessary to keep the pavement clean, and perhaps to sprinkle it. All pavements produce more or less dust, even when kept thoroughly cleaned. Stone, brick, and asphalt surfaces all give off a small amount of very fine dust, which rises in the wind unless the surface is kept sprinkled. Wood-block surfaces are less objectionable on this account. Broken-stone roads wear rapidly and make dust freely in dry weather, unless kept sprinkled or treated with oil or tar (see Art. 41).