Asphalt pavements provide a smooth, quiet, skid-resistant ride surface.
In the world today, noise has become one of the most pervasive forms of environmental pollution. Noise is everywhere.
Today's society regards noise as a main source of environmental pollution and especially for heavily trafficked roads running through urban areas. New asphalt surfaces produce less noise levels than other construction materials. This helps to reduce the impact on the communities where road pass through and it also increases the comfort for the driver and his passengers.
Traffic noise is the second biggest environmental problem affecting health in the EU after air pollution, according to a recent (2011) World Health Organisation (WHO) report.EU Directive 2002/49/EC
The European Parliament and Council adopted Directive 2002/49/EC on the management of environmental noise of 25 June 2002, whose main aim is to provide a common basis for tackling noise problems across the EU. The underlying principles of this Directive are similar to those for other environment policy directives:
monitoring the environmental problem by requiring competent authorities in Member States to produce strategic noise maps for major roads, railways, civil airports and urban agglomerations, based on harmonized noise indicators;
informing and consulting the public about noise exposure, its effects and the measures considered to address noise, in line with the principles of the Aarhus Convention;
addressing local noise issues by requiring competent authorities to draw up action plans to reduce noise where necessary and maintain environmental noise quality where it is good (the Directive does not set any limit value nor does it prescribe the measures to be used in the action plans, which remain at the discretion of the competent authorities); and
developing a long-term EU strategy, including objectives to reduce the number of people affected by noise and providing a framework.
Negatively textured surfaces, e.g. porous asphalt, stop noise at the source, whereas noise barriers try to absorb or re-direct the noise after it has been made. Furthermore, asphalt pavements are quieter than other pavement types in general.