Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Ecotourism

Publication Date



In many parks and protected areas around the globe, reducing human-caused sounds is a critical component to providing quality visitor experiences. However, very little research examines the effect of vehicular road sounds on visitor experiences. Additionally, emerging pavement treatments have the potential to provide a new management tool for reducing impacts from vehicular road sounds. In this research, intercept surveys of visitors in Death Valley National Park and dose-response methods are used to identify the impacts of vehicular road sounds using normative concepts. The effects of different pavement treatments on visitor experiences are also evaluated. Results show that increasing vehicular road sounds have a negative impact on visitor experiences. Furthermore, Type II microsurfacing pavement treatments have a larger negative impact on visitor experiences than other pavement treatments. From this, managers of parks and protected areas can better understand the impacts of vehicle road sounds on visitor experiences, and possibly further reduce impacts through the use of pavement treatments.


soundscapes; thresholds; vehicles; visitor use management; national parks



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