Looking for some peace and quiet? Check out this neighborhood noise map

You might want to take a trip to northeastern Minnesota ... or West St. Paul.
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There's a map to help you find some peace and quiet.

The Bureau of Transportation released a National Transportation Noise Map this week that shows which areas are the loudest and which are the quietest.

It takes into account things like noise from traffic and airplanes – not construction, trains, or noisy neighbors, though. You're on your own there.

If you look at the entire U.S. noise map, it's pretty much a big orange and red mess – with the orange showing moderate noise and red showing higher levels.

But if you zoom in (be patient, the map can take a while to load), you can see which roads and neighborhoods produce the most noise.

Above is a map of the Twin Cities area. Major highways and areas near Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport were the noisiest (as one would expect). But there are a couple little neighborhoods – like in West St. Paul – where it's actually pretty quiet.

By far the quietest part of the state is definitely northeastern Minnesota – with the exception of Duluth. The city shows a pretty big glob of orange, marking moderate noise levels.

What we learn from the map

The Bureau says more than 97 percent of the U.S. population is regularly exposed to transportation noise below 50 decibels –sort of like the noise level of a humming refrigerator. That's what most of those orange areas mark.

And less than 1 percent of the population deals with noise levels of 80 decibels or more – comparable to the noise level of a garbage disposal. Those areas are marked in blue. We have a few spots like that in Minnesota by MSP Airport.

Transportation officials say they eventually want to add rail and maritime noises to the map to make it more accurate.

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