Are Traffic Congestion Costs Exaggerated?

The costs of congestion reappraised (65 page pdf, Ian Wallis and David Lupton, NZ Transport Agency research report 489, Feb. 2013)
Also discussed here : The future economic and environmental costs of gridlock in 2030 – An assessment of the direct and indirect economic and environmental costs of idling in road traffic congestion to households in the UK, France, Germany and the USA (67 page pdf, Report for INRIX, Jul. 2014)

And here: How Not To Measure Traffic Congestion—Hold the Hyperbole, Please! (Planetizen, Oct. 14, 2014)

Today, we review several reports that try to estimate the cost of traffic congestion in the USA, Europe, New Zealand other countries with some criticism as to how congestion is measured or perhaps exaggerated according to the definition or methods used. The recent INRIX report puts the cost for individuals in the USA at $1,740 now rising to $2,902 by 2030 which is equivalent nationally to $2.8 trillion by 2030. By comparison, in Canada the individual cost ranges from $17 to $ 270 individually for 9 urban areas, or $3B nationally.

speed vs flow

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

 

Monitoring Air Pollution .. with an Umbrella?

Track Air Pollution With This Smart Umbrella (Carey Dunne, FastCoDesign, Jun. 26, 2014)

Also discussed here: Smart umbrellas keep you dry and check the air you breathe(Nicola Davis , the guardian, The Observer, Jun. 19, 2014)

And here: Track Air Pollution With This Smart Umbrella (FastCoDesign)

And here: Share hyperlocal air pollution data with Sensing Umbrella (Zoe Romano, Arduino, Jul. 16, 2014)
And here: Sensing Umbrella (Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Jun. 2014)

Today we note the innovative design of an umbrella that monitors carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, two of the main toxic air pollutants in many traffic-clogged cities. The idea which came from two students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design is intended for use by the larger public to both collect data easily and then have it automatically shared via Wi-Fi for potential application in mapping urban pollution or making pollution levels known in near real-time.

sensing umbrella

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How Many Deaths World-Wide are Caused by Transportation-Related Air Pollution?

Estimating source-attributable health impacts of ambient fine particulate matter exposure: global premature mortality from surface transportation emissions in 2005 (11 page pdf, S E Chambliss, R Silva, J J West, M Zeinali and R Minjares, Environmental Research Letters, Oct. 10, 2014)
Today we review an estimate of the number of air pollution deaths globally caused by transportation, principally PM 2.5. Results indicate that out of 3.2 million air pollution deaths, 242,000 are caused by transportation, with higher numbers in the USA and central Europe related to the proximity of busy roads and an older society, more subject to chronic diseases aggravated by air pollution.

global deaths

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How Likely is a Heart Attack after Exposure to High levels of Air Pollution?

Outdoor Air Pollution and Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Okayama, Japan (Abstract, Takashi Yorifuji, Etsuji Suzuki, Saori Kashima, Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2014)
Also discussed here: High-pollution days linked to increased risk of cardiac arrest (ScienceDaily, Oct. 7, 2014)

Today we review research into the risk of heart attacks after several days of high levels of air pollution. Results indicate a greater risk of between 17 and 40% after exposure to particulate matter or ozone respectively.

NEW YORK CITY'S ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ADMIN...

NEW YORK CITY’S ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ADMINISTRATION’S MOBILE LAB MEASURES AIR POLLUTION LEVELS IN CONGESTED… – NARA – 549898 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Why are there No Regulations to Control Spills at Gas Stations?

Infiltration and Evaporation of Small Hydrocarbon Spills at Gas Stations (Abstract,Markus Hilpert , Patrick N. Breysse, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, Sep. 19, 2014)
Also discussed here: Small spills at gas stations could cause significant public health risks over time (ScienceDaily, Oct. 7, 2014)

Today we review research into the potential health threat posed by accidental spills that occur when individuals fill up their vehicles at gas stations which themselves are becoming much larger by an order of magnitude. Estimates are that each gas station has 1,500 litres of spills each year which evaporates into the air or makes its way and pollutes the groundwater and drains which empty into rivers which supply municipal water supplies. Regulations generally do not cover these spills which result in “non-negligible human exposure to toxic and carcinogenic gasoline compounds.”

Old gasoline pumps, Norway

Old gasoline pumps, Norway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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How is Exposure to Pollution affected by Where the Pollution is Measured?

Before the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955, ...

Before the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955, air pollution was not considered a national environmental problem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Identifying exposure disparities in air pollution epidemiology specific to adverse birth outcomes (4 page pdf, Laura A Geer, Environmental Research Letters, Oct. 8, 2014)

Today we review a short research note that pointed out that almost half of the population of the USA live in areas with higher air pollution levels than standards allow. At the same time, standard reference air quality monitors tend to be located in high pollution areas and also in areas where certain sectors of the population live, some of whom are more vulnerable to those impacts- such as pregnant women with low incomes. Unless these biases are taken into account, general conclusions drawn may exaggerate the impacts. This suggests both more care in monitor siting and allowance for bias in population exposure.

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

What is the Role for Land Transportation in Reducing Carbon Emissions?

Land transport’s contribution to a 2°C target – Key Messages on mitigation potential, institutions and financing of low-carbon land transport for policy makers on transport and climate change (35 page pdf, Heather Allen, Manfred Breithaupt, Lew Fulton, Kain Glensor, Sanjing Han, Cornie Huizenga, Oliver Lah, Katie Millard, Michael Replogle, Shritu Shresta, Bridging the Gap Initiative and the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport, Sep. 23, 2014)

Also discussed here: The Bridging the Gap Factsheets – Climate Finance – Opportunities and Challenges for Transport  (6 page pdf, Bridging the Gap Initiative, Oct, 2012)

Today we review an early release of a report that covers the role of the transportation sector in addressing climate change one year ahead of decisions in the fall of 2015 at the U.N. Investment in and application of a number of measures, including both technology and personal behaviour change, could reduce energy demand by over 50% below the internationally accepted goal of keeping climate warming below 4 degrees C and also produce co-benefits to reduce traffic congestion world-wide (which has a cost as high as 10% GDP).

role of transortation in ghg reductions

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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