Understanding how energy policy and air quality/regulations affect greenhouse gas emissions, criteria pollutant emissions, and public health outcomes.
Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Childhood Asthma in the United States: A Burden of Disease Assessment
Lead: Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Asthma is a chronic airway disease characterized by episodes of coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing. Around 6 million children in the United States are affected by asthma, making the condition the most common chronic lung disease in childhood. Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) may be an important exposure contributing to the development of childhood asthma. Yet the burden of incident childhood asthma, attributable to TRAP, is poorly documented. This study builds on past research and models to estimate the burden of incident childhood asthma, attributable to traffic-related air pollution within the contiguous United States.
Measuring Temporal and Spatial Exposure of Urban Cyclists to Air Pollutants Using an Instrumented Bicycle
Lead: Georgia Institute of Technology
Increased use of active transportation can make direct and indirect contributions toward addressing health concerns arising from sedentary lifestyles and other societal transportation issues. However, in the process of cycling for transportation, cyclists themselves are exposed to pollutants that could adversely impact their health. The goal of this study is to better understand local cyclist exposure to air pollutants and variations by route and time of day. Data collection will be done using an instrumented bicycle, and the pollutant exposure of cyclists on parallel routes between major origin‐destination pairs will then be mapped.
Lead: Georgia Institute of Technology
Paratransit transport typically provides transportation options for seniors and individuals that cannot access the fixed route bus or rail system. As the US population ages, there is an increasing number of people with limited transportation options, who have to rely on services such as paratransit. Little is known about the emissions characteristics of paratransit vehicles, and the exposures faced by paratransit riders, both onboard the vehicles and while waiting at stops. This study will characterize the Particulate Matter (PM) emissions exposures inside the cabin of paratransit buses, as well as in waiting areas, and provide an understanding of the exposures of a vulnerable user group.
Assessing Regulatory Compliance and Community Air Pollution Impacts of Crude Oil by Rail Transport in Baltimore City, Maryland
Lead: Johns Hopkins University
Increases in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, in the Bakken Shale region of the United States have resulted in the transport of enormous volumes of crude oil by rail (CBR) across the country to refineries and ports along both the East and West Coasts. Baltimore City has been a hub for CBR transport throughout the fracking boom, due to its central location along the Eastern Shoreline and service as a transfer station along the Chesapeake Bay. This study will characterize CBR shipments in Baltimore City, and their impacts on local communities. Issues of regulatory compliance, impacts on measured volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in residential areas, and best practices in protecting community health will be addressed.
Lead: University of Texas at El Paso
Partners: Johns Hopkins University, University of California, Riverside, and Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Numerous epidemiological studies have shown evidence of adverse health effects resulting from acute or chronic exposure to traffic-related pollution. At the same time, active living, which includes walking and bicycling, is being promoted to improve public health. Active living practices aimed at improving health outcomes in underserved populations may therefore have a detrimental impact on health from an emissions exposure perspective. The objectives of this project are to quantify air pollution exposures for residents of underserved communities near busy roadways and to develop guidelines on healthy living for the undeserved roadside communities that are subjected to severe air pollution.
Energy and Emission Benefits Evaluation of Battery Electric/Plug-in Hybrid Electric Connected Drayage Trucks
Lead: University of California, Riverside
Partners: Georgia Institute of Technology
Advances in connected vehicle (CV) technologies have the potential for reducing GHG emissions, fuel consumption, and emissions of other pollutants. The UCR research team has developed a variety of CV applications. One such application is Eco-Approach and Departure (EAD), which uses signal phase and timing information from the traffic signal to determine an optimal speed profile for approaching and departing the intersection in the most eco-friendly manner. With the projected increasing market shares of plug-in hybrid electric trucks in the freight sector in the next several years, this project will evaluate the energy and emission benefits of employing plug-in hybrid electric trucks in place of conventional diesel trucks.