Browse Publications Technical Papers 2005-01-1620
2005-04-11

Quantifying the Effects of Traffic Calming on Emissions Using On-road Measurements 2005-01-1620

The objective of this work was to determine the effect of one form of traffic calming on emissions. Traffic calming is aimed at reducing average vehicle speeds, especially in residential neighborhoods, often using physical road obstructions such as speed bumps, but it also results in a higher number of acceleration/deceleration events which in turn yield higher emissions. Testing was undertaken by driving a warmed-up Euro-1 spark ignition passenger car over a set of speed bumps on a level road, and then comparing the emissions output to a non-calmed level road negotiated smoothly at a similar average speed. For the emissions measurements, a novel method was utilized, whereby the vehicle was fitted with a portable Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, capable of measuring up to 51 different components in real-time on the road. The results showed that increases in emissions were much greater than was previously reported by other researchers using different techniques. When traffic-calmed results were compared to a smooth non-calmed road, there were substantial increases in CO2 (90%), CO (117%), NOx (195%) and THC (148%). These results form the basis for a good argument against traffic calming using speed bumps, especially for aggressive drivers. Slowing traffic down with speed restrictions enforced by speed cameras is a more environmentally friendly option.

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