SALT LAKE CITY — A new study will try to determine whether the noise of road construction eventually makes for healthier neighborhoods.

University of Utah researchers are looking for participants to help answer that question. The study is being funded by an ongoing $2.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, with recruitment now through the fall.    

The first phase of the five-year Moving Across Places Study, or MAPS, measures current travel and activity patterns, as well as residents' perceptions and feelings about their neighborhoods.

Eligible study participants will be chosen from randomly selected blocks within a 1.2-mile distance to North Temple. A map of the study area can be found at   

People taking part in the study will complete surveys and wear two small gadgets for one week in 2012 and then again about one year later. The devices measure travel activities and patterns.    

The study will continue into the fall, before the new TRAX light-rail line running down the street opens to the public.

People interested in participating should leave a message with their name and address at 801-585-3754 or in an email to [email protected].

Those who complete all parts of the study will receive $50. The study will be repeated next year to analyze the effects of the new light-rail line and pedestrian-friendly construction.