An eight-year battle with city hall for residents along Veterans Memorial Parkway, may end as early as next week.

 Their demands for a noise barrier wall along the parkway may soon be answered, but the solution has a hefty price tag.

And will a wooden wall be effective enough to be worth $450,000?

Traffic noise has only gotten worse for neighours since the city widened the parkway in 2005.

 “We just want our quality of life back, to be able to enjoy our back yard and have friends over,” says Colette Dodds. 

 Next week, city staff will recommend a wooden noise barrier wall near Dundas Street be extended one kilometer south, replacing a line of privacy fencing. 

 Ward 2 Coun. Bill Armstrong expects all of the homeowners will notice an improvement.

“Some have privacy fences, but there are gaps in them so that allows the noise to go through. Some of them have wire mesh fence and some only have bushes.”

If taxpayers are going to spend almost $500,000 to try to improve the situation, the question is, will it make a significant difference?

 Using a smartphone, traffic noise averages 74 decibels and reaches a peak of 97 on the parkway side.

In Dodds’ backyard, her privacy fence does little; reducing noise by about 10 decibels, but the peak volume is unchanged.

A few doors down from the Dodds’ home, it is much quieter in the backyard and both the average and peak volumes are reduced by about 20 decibels, thanks to the wooden barrier.

The recommendation of extending the noise wall still faces a hurdle during budget deliberations later this month. It remains on a list of added initiatives without a current source of funding.

“It should have been as a set item, but I think there was some confusion so it is an added item,” Armstrong says. “But I don't think that is going to be an issue.”

For Dodds, she's already envisioning spending summer in her backyard.

"Finally, I am going to be able to come out and enjoy the pool, the yard and have my friends over, have some peace and quiet and peace of mind," she says.

After the new wall is installed a noise study will measure its effectiveness.