- Noise & Vibration
Seattle Center, KEXP, Seattle International Film Festival, & Seattle Repertory Theater
May 2022 – December 2022
Kat Baker, EIT
Sound Transit Link Extension Noise & Vibration Monitoring
Seattle Center, located within the City of Seattle, includes numerous highly specialized facilities such as theaters, concert halls, and rehearsal spaces; studios for radio, film, and television production; museums; and special-event venues. Seattle Center and its tenants have raised concerns about the potential for noise and vibration impacts from construction and operation of a proposed new Sound Transit light rail extension project, referred to as the West Seattle to Ballard Link Extension Project (WSBLE). Seattle Center and several resident organizations (KEXP, Seattle International Film Festival, and the Seattle Repertory Theater) retained Landau noise and vibration expert consultants to review the WSBLE Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and provide comment on the document’s accuracy and completeness regarding assessment of noise and vibration impacts.
Landau was retained by multiple organizations within Seattle Center, as well as Seattle Center itself. Therefore, our review of the WSBLE DEIS required detailed assessment of the methods and conclusions regarding impacts to a range of facilities, with consideration of noise and vibration thresholds that were unique to each.
Landau’s approach was to explore the unique concerns of each resident organization within Seattle Center, including concerns regarding how noise and vibration impacts could disrupt operations. This approach required an understanding facility’s operations, an assessment of ambient levels of noise and vibration, and a thorough examination of the DEIS relative to potential impacts at each facility.
In coordination with each resident organization, Landau’s noise and vibration experts conducted ambient noise and vibration measurements within facilities were there was a concern for potential impacts. Examples included radio station DJ booths and mixing rooms, live studios, film screening rooms, live performance theaters, and others. The measurements were used to develop a detailed understanding of reasonable impact thresholds, beyond what is provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for evaluating impacts from Sound Transit projects. Landau reviewed in detail the methods, limits, impact determinations, and proposed mitigation measures that Sound Transit provided for each organization, as documented in the DEIS. Landau then provided comment on the reasonableness of the impact assessments and also identified omissions and errors. Mitigation measures for both construction and operation were evaluated in detail and additional measures were suggested where warranted. Landau’s reports have been submitted to Sound Transit for formal comments.