LETTER: Sound barriers create visual noise
I write in relation to the new sound attenuating walls east of the Capilano Road exit on Highway 1. (“Residents sound off over highway noise barrier,” March 22.)
I have no doubt that the walls are needed but must they be so aesthetically inappropriate? The walls are the in the form of precast concrete panels masquerading as stone.
This is a misguided and puzzling attempt to replicate traditional rusticated masonry almost unique to regions of Yorkshire and Lancashire in England!
Trained as both an architect and an urban Planner in Yorkshire, I am distressed by this travesty of the “real thing” being perpetrated here.
This “lets fake it” mindset seems to have prevailed in the highways’ department for many years judging by the imitation ‘wood’ concrete sound walls (oddly painted pink) common in the Vancouver region and the ‘pretend’ stone concrete work marring Highway 99 up to Whistler.
A much better approach would be to evolve a textured and patterned wall system utilizing the intrinsic qualities of concrete and its aggregates in a creative and honest manner.
Ideally, the highways’ department would engage landscape architects and related professionals to design such a “sound wall” system that could be used along B.C. highways throughout the province with variations able to respond to the different characteristics of regional landscape character.
Bob Spencer, North Vancouver