Impact of Traffic Management on Black Carbon Emissions: a Microsimulation Study

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This paper investigates the effectiveness of traffic management tools, including traffic signal control and en-route navigation provided by variable message signs (VMS), in reducing traffic congestion and associated emissions of CO2, NOx, and black carbon. The latter is among the most significant contributors of climate change, and is associated with many serious health problems. This study combines traffic microsimulation (S-Paramics) with emission modeling (AIRE) to simulate and predict the impacts of different traffic management measures on a number traffic and environmental Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) assessed at different spatial levels. Simulation results for a real road network located in West Glasgow suggest that these traffic management tools can bring a reduction in travel delay and BC emission respectively by up to 6 % and 3 % network wide. The improvement at local levels such as junctions or corridors can be more significant. However, our results also show that the potential benefits of such interventions are strongly dependent on a number of factors, including dynamic demand profile, VMS compliance rate, and fleet composition. Extensive discussion based on the simulation results as well as managerial insights are provided to support traffic network operation and control with environmental goals. The study described by this paper was conducted under the support of the FP7-funded CARBOTRAF project.

Networks and Spatial Economics
Simon Hu
Assistant Professor