Resident Question: I'm curious as to whether or not there's ever been an effort to create a sound/air barrier between 93 and the Ten Hills/East Somerville neighborhoods it goes so close to. It seems like many far-flung suburbs have walls like that, so I'd think it would be needed in such a dense location.
Answer: I went straight to Mayor Curtatone with this question. He said the City can certainly look into making this a priority and that he considers the need for a higher/better barrier between I-93 and the East Somerville and Ten Hills neighborhoods important for two reasons: both to lower noise levels and to reduce the spread of air pollution from the highway into the area.
Highway sound barriers have been proven effective in reducing air pollution in neighboring areas — in some cases by up to 50 percent. At this time the Massachusetts Department of Transportation dedicates $6.25 million of funding for noise barriers per year and prioritizes them as they see fit. The process for requesting and receiving this funding takes time. I'll keep the blog updated on any news of City efforts regarding this. Thank you for bringing this up.