Living near a highway: A blessing or a curse

Theresa Hus
5 min readMay 8, 2024
highway road view

Living near a highway is one of those things that people either love or hate. On the one hand, it’s super convenient for getting around town quickly and accessing nearby amenities like shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Plus, living near a highway can save you a lot of time and hassle if you need to commute to work or school.

However, there’s a downside to all that convenience. The constant traffic noise can be irritating, especially if you’re trying to relax or get a good night’s sleep. And let’s not forget about the pollution. All those cars and trucks spewing exhaust fumes can’t be good for our health or the environment.

But despite the drawbacks, there are definitely some benefits to living near a highway. For one thing, it usually means you’re living in a more urban area, which can be exciting and vibrant. There are many things to see and do, and you’re never far from the action. Plus, being close to major transportation routes can make it easier to travel farther afield, whether you’re going on vacation or visiting friends and family in other parts of the country.

So, is living near a highway a blessing or a curse? We will try to answer this question in the following article and give you a glimpse of what living near a highway is really like.

Are there any health risks to living near a highway?

In the United States, more than 45 million people live, work, or attend school within 300 feet of crowded roads, airports, or railways. This closeness has sparked worry about how all that traffic might affect people’s health over time.

Living, working, or going to school near busy roads can really take a toll on your health. You see, all those cars and trucks zooming by emit a whole bunch of toxic fumes into the air. We’re talking about things like dust, smoke, and chemicals that can pollute the air around those roads.

When you breathe in polluted air, your body can experience all sorts of problems. For starters, it can mess with your lungs and make it harder to breathe, which is definitely not fun if you have asthma or any other breathing issues. Plus, it can put extra strain on your heart and even increase your risk of getting heart problems down the road.

But it’s not just adults who are affected. Kids, especially those who are still growing, can really feel the effects, too. Breathing in dirty air can mess with their lung development, which can cause problems later in life. And for babies still in the womb, being exposed to air pollution can even lead to them being born prematurely or with a low birth weight.

And get this — it’s not just the pollution coming straight out of the cars and trucks that’s the problem. It’s also the stuff that gets made when those emissions mix with other things in the air, like sunlight. This can create even more harmful pollutants that can hang around in the air for longer and travel further, affecting even more people.

How can you protect yourself from highway pollutants?

Living close to a highway means dealing with the constant flow of traffic and the pollutants it brings. Many of us face this reality, but there are ways to navigate it while keeping our health in check. One crucial step is to focus on the air quality inside our homes. While it might seem like being indoors offers protection, pollutants can still seep in. That’s where air purifiers with HEPA filters come in handy and seal any gaps or cracks that might let pollutants sneak in.

Ventilation is another crucial aspect. Ensuring our homes are well-ventilated helps circulate air and reduce indoor pollutant levels. Investing in high-efficiency HVAC filters and replacing them regularly is also a good idea. These simple actions can go a long way in improving the air we breathe indoors.

But what about the outdoors? Planting trees and shrubs along the highway-facing side of our property adds greenery and acts as a natural barrier, absorbing pollutants and reducing their concentration near our homes. Of course, choosing plants that can withstand the conditions near highways is essential.

When it comes to outdoor activities, timing is everything. Avoiding busy traffic times or choosing routes away from heavily congested roads can minimize pollutant exposure. And if you find yourself near busy roads, wearing a mask designed to filter out pollutants can provide an extra layer of protection.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also crucial. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise all support our body’s ability to cope with pollutants. It’s about giving our bodies the tools to remain resilient in environmental challenges.

The bright side of living near a highway

Living near a highway often creates images of noise, pollution, and inconvenience. However, there’s a bright side to this proximity that usually goes unnoticed. While it’s true that living near a highway comes with its challenges, there are also several benefits to be had.

One of the most significant advantages of living near a highway is accessibility. Highways provide quick and easy access to major destinations, including workplaces, shopping centers, and recreational areas. This convenience can save residents valuable time that would otherwise be spent commuting through congested city streets.

Moreover, living near a highway can offer picturesque views and open spaces. Many highways are built alongside scenic routes or natural landscapes, providing residents with beautiful vistas and opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking or cycling. Additionally, the open spaces near highways often serve as green belts or parks, enhancing the quality of life for nearby residents.

The misconceptions and realities about living near the highway often intersect regarding property value. Property near highways is often more affordable, making homeownership more accessible to a broader range of individuals and families. Furthermore, properties near highways may appeal to specific buyers who prioritize convenience and accessibility.

Living near a highway can also foster a sense of community. Residents in these areas often share everyday experiences and challenges, strengthening bonds and support networks. Additionally, nearby amenities and services, made easily accessible by the highway, can contribute to a vibrant and dynamic community atmosphere.

Final thoughts

In wrapping up, living near a highway has its ups and downs. Sure, having everything close by is handy, but the noise and pollution can be a real bother. Protecting ourselves from the bad stuff is vital, like using air purifiers and planting greenery.

But there’s a bright side, too! Quick access to places, beautiful views, and cheaper homes make it worthwhile. Plus, living near others who understand the hustle can create a strong sense of community.

In the end, it’s about finding a balance. Living near a highway can be pretty great by taking care of ourselves and embracing the perks.

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Theresa Hus

Theresa has single-handedly created the entire Sales and Marketing Training Program at RealEstateAgent.com from scratch, and has closed approx 20m in sales.