Can roadway design air quality impacts be used to mitigate from traffic?

Richard Baldauf, Thomas Cahill, Chad Bailey, Andrey Khlystov, K. Max Zhang, Richard Cook, Chatten Cowherd, George Bowker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A research study has shown that roadway design options that affect pollutant transport and dispersion such as the roadway configuration and the presence of roadside structures influence near-road air quality. Near-roadway air pollution is characterized by an increased levels of traffic-generated compounds compared to overall urban background levels with the gradual decrease in concentrations within several hundred meters of road. Field measurements of samples collected from upwind and downwind of five urban freeways in Los Angeles with differing road configurations suggest that elevated, fill-section roadways result in higher downwind pollutant concentrations than at-grade sections when the plume reaches ground level. The study suggests that lower regional emissions are associated with compact growth land use, leading to the possibility of greater exposures to traffic-generated pollutants despite lower overall emissions from the transportation system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalEM: Air and Waste Management Association's Magazine for Environmental Managers
Issue numberAUGUST
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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