Internal and External Costs of Motor Vehicle Pollution

Recently published:

On-road emissions, a dominant source of urban air pollution, damage human health. Emissions increase air pollution intake (and damage health) of travelers (internal costs), and of non-travelers (external costs). This research constructs a framework modeling the microscopic production of emission cost from the vehicle and link level and applies it to a metropolitan road network. It uses project-level Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) simulations to model link-specific on-road emissions, and then employs the RLINE dispersion model to estimate on- and off-road concentrations of pollutants from vehicles. The internal and external emission costs are measured accordingly by counting the health damage costs of travelers and gen- eral population because of exposure. The framework is applied to the Minneapolis-St. Paul (Twin Cities) Metropolitan Area as a proof-of-concept. The estimates show that highways have higher emission concentrations because of higher traffic flow, but that the internal and external emission costs per vehicle kilometer traveled are lower. The emission costs that commuters impose on others greatly exceeds that which they bear. This modeling process is replicable for planners and practitioners assessing emission costs in other regions.

Figure 6. Emissions cost estimates (cents/vehicle kilometers traveled): (a) internal and (b) external.

Transportist: September 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of The Transportist, especially to our new readers. As always you can follow along at the  transportist.org or on Twitter

Plants vs. Animals

I posit, as a first order approximation, humans are going to bifurcate as a species into plants and animals. Plants work from home and have everything delivered. Animals have out of home jobs and travel.

A quick Twitter poll shows nearly 2/3 of my followers admit to being plants, disturbingly high.

Books

  • 30-Minute City: Designing for Access is now Open Access

I am pleased to announce that you can now download a PDF version of The 30-Minute City: Designing for Access from the University of Sydney eScholarship Repository. (Free)

The 30-Minute City by David M. Levinson
The 30-Minute City by David M. Levinson
VIEW/OPEN
DATE
  • 2019-12
AUTHOR
  • Levinson, David M.
METADATA

This book describes how to implement The 30-Minute City. The first part of the book explains accessibility. We next consider access through history (chapter 2). Access is the driving force behind how cities were built. Its use today is described when looking at access and the Greater Sydney Commission’s plan for Sydney. We then examine short-run fixes: things that can be done instantaneously, or nearly so, at low budget to restore access for people, which include retiming traffic signals (chapter 3) and deploying bike sharing (chapter 5) supported by protected bike lane networks (chapter 4), as well public transport timetables (chapter 6). We explore medium-run fixes that include implementing rapid bus networks (chapter 7) and configuring how people get to train stations by foot and on bus (chapter 8). We turn to longer-run fixes. These are as much policy changes as large investments, and include job/worker balance (chapter 10) and network restructuring (chapter 9) as well as urban restoration (chapter 11), suburban retrofit (chapter 12), and greenfield development (chapter 13). We conclude with thoughts about the ‘pointlessness’ of cities and how to restructure practice (chapter 14). The appendices provide detail on access measurement (Appendix A), the idea of accessibility loss (B), valuation (C), the rationale for the 30-minute threshold (D), and reliability (E). It concludes with what should we research (F).

URI

Research 

  • Ji, Ang and Levinson, D. (2020) An energy loss-based vehicular injury severity model. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 146 October 2020, 105730. [doi]

How crashes translate into physical injuries remains controversial. Previous studies recommended a predictor, Delta-V, to describe the crash consequences in terms of mass and impact speed of vehicles in crashes. This study adopts a new factor, energy loss-based vehicular injury severity (ELVIS), to explain the effects of the energy absorption of two vehicles in a collision. This calibrated variable, which is fitted with regression-based and machine learning models, is compared with the widely-used Delta-V predictor. A multivariate ordered logistic regression with multiple classes is then estimated. The results align with the observation that heavy vehicles are more likely to have inherent protection and rigid structures, especially in the side direction, and so suffer less impact.

This study focuses on path flow for road network, as the sum of individual route choices from individual travelers, associated with specific path type for each cost factor of auto travel that finds the optimal route with the minimum cumulative cost from the perspective of the corresponding cost analyst interest. The considered cost factors include time, safety, emission, and monetary costs, as well as their composite, internal and full cost of travel. We further explore the extent to which each cost factor explains the observed link traffic flows given an estimated home-to-work demand pattern. The results of the Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan area indicate that flows from multiple path types, associated with internal cost components, additionally to the factor of distance, provides the best fit.

Transportist Blog

Traffic Safety

On August 6, I was on ABC Radio Hobart at 09:35 AEST talking traffic safety https://abc.net.au/radio/hobart/live/… with Leon Compton @abchobart. I was later interviewed for ABC-TV on the same subject. I was talking about my blog post: 21 Solutions to Road Deaths. Apparently there has been a recent spike in Tasmania. My key talking points:

We use the term “crash” not “accident” as “accident” implies no one was at fault and lack of intention and crash is more neutral. Crashes have causes.

The safety community likes to say “Safety is a shared responsibility”, and the responsibility lies with drivers, road engineers, vehicle designers, public policy, and others. [Though I think it is often about shirking responsibility and putting it back on the victim rather than taking it themselves].

Every crash has individual causes, but there are trends.

Australia-wide, there were 484 total fatal crashes (January through June) – down compared to the same period in 2019, which saw 572. https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/downloads/dynamic/nsw-road-toll-monthly.pdf

The Lockdowns associated with COVID-19 are a factor. A study from Ohio State Univeresity found that COVID, which decreased the amount of automobile (and all) travel saw an increase in Speeding.

Speeding is a known cause of crashes. Higher speeds have two major effects: 

  • 1. Speeding reduces the available time for drivers to react to events, increasing the likelihood of a collision. 
  • 2. Higher speed increases the severity of impact, increasing the likelihood of fatality.

Solutions include better driver training and testing, more rigorous enforcement, keeping intoxicated drivers off the road, better engineering of roads, lower speed limits (which are both enforced, and designed into the road).

Walk Sydney

Transport Findings

  1. Roy, Avipsa, Daniel Fuller, Kevin Stanley, and Trisalyn Nelson. 2020. “Classifying Transportation Mode from Global Positioning Systems and Accelerometer Data: A Machine Learning Approach.” Transport Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.14520.
  2. Young, Mischa, and Steven Farber. 2020. “Using Wait-Time Thresholds to Improve Mobility: The Case of UberWAV Services in Toronto.” Transport Findings, August. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.14547.
  3. Du, Jianhe, and Hesham Rakha. 2020. “Preliminary Investigation of COVID-19 Impact on Transportation System Delay, Energy Consumption and Emission Levels.” Transport Findings, July. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.14103.
  4. Branion-Calles, Michael, Kate Hosford, Meghan Winters, Lise Gauvin, and Daniel Fuller. 2020. “The Impact of Implementing Public Bicycle Share Programs on Bicycle Crashes.” Transport Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.16724.

News & Opinion

Books

An energy loss-based vehicular injury severity model

Recently published:

  • Ji, Ang and Levinson, D. (2020) An energy loss-based vehicular injury severity model. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 146 October 2020, 105730. [doi]

How crashes translate into physical injuries remains controversial. Previous studies recommended a predictor, Delta-V, to describe the crash consequences in terms of mass and impact speed of vehicles in crashes. This study adopts a new factor, energy loss-based vehicular injury severity (ELVIS), to explain the effects of the energy absorption of two vehicles in a collision. This calibrated variable, which is fitted with regression-based and machine learning models, is compared with the widely-used Delta-V predictor. A multivariate ordered logistic regression with multiple classes is then estimated. The results align with the observation that heavy vehicles are more likely to have inherent protection and rigid structures, especially in the side direction, and so suffer less impact.

 

Shortest paths, travel costs, and traffic

Recently published:

This study focuses on path flow for road network, as the sum of individual route choices from individual travelers, associated with specific path type for each cost factor of auto travel that finds the optimal route with the minimum cumulative cost from the perspective of the corresponding cost analyst interest. The considered cost factors include time, safety, emission, and monetary costs, as well as their composite, internal and full cost of travel. We further explore the extent to which each cost factor explains the observed link traffic flows given an estimated home-to-work demand pattern. The results of the Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan area indicate that flows from multiple path types, associated with internal cost components, additionally to the factor of distance, provides the best fit.

dif_full_2

Sydney’s bike network stuck in the slow lane | Sydney Morning Herald

Nigel Gladstone at the Sydney Morning Herald writes: “Sydney’s bike network stuck in the slow lane“. My quote below:

Sydney University Professor of transport engineering David Levinson said bike network plans are “unambitious” because the government seems reluctant to face any backlash from the loss of car parking.

“What’s the most valuable use of road space: moving people or storing cars?” he said. “The alternative is turning over more footpath space to cyclists, which creates a different set of conflicts and footpath space is a lot scarcer.”

Dr Levinson said judging demand for bike lanes under current conditions is like trying to “judge the demand for the harbour bridge by the number of people swimming across the harbour.”

The City of Sydney has installed 6 temporary cycleways as it makes bike riding a transport priority in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
City of Sydney Bike Network, including Pop-up Cycleways. The “Local Bike Network” is not even sharrows, and some links are shared footpaths..

The 30-Minute City – Open Access

I am pleased to announce that you can now download a PDF version of The 30-Minute City: Designing for Access from the University of Sydney eScholarship Repository. (Free)

View/Open

Date

  • 2019-12

Author

  • Levinson, David M.

Metadata

This book describes how to implement The 30-Minute City. The first part of the book explains accessibility. We next consider access through history (chapter 2). Access is the driving force behind how cities were built. Its use today is described when looking at access and the Greater Sydney Commission’s plan for Sydney. We then examine short-run fixes: things that can be done instantaneously, or nearly so, at low budget to restore access for people, which include retiming traffic signals (chapter 3) and deploying bike sharing (chapter 5) supported by protected bike lane networks (chapter 4), as well public transport timetables (chapter 6). We explore medium-run fixes that include implementing rapid bus networks (chapter 7) and configuring how people get to train stations by foot and on bus (chapter 8). We turn to longer-run fixes. These are as much policy changes as large investments, and include job/worker balance (chapter 10) and network restructuring (chapter 9) as well as urban restoration (chapter 11), suburban retrofit (chapter 12), and greenfield development (chapter 13). We conclude with thoughts about the ‘pointlessness’ of cities and how to restructure practice (chapter 14). The appendices provide detail on access measurement (Appendix A), the idea of accessibility loss (B), valuation (C), the rationale for the 30-minute threshold (D), and reliability (E). It concludes with what should we research (F).

URI

The 30-Minute City by David M. Levinson

The Role of Walking in the Movement and Place Policy Framework

Join the Transport Australia society for a panel discussion on what makes places great and how they can be built to encourage a healthier and more vibrant society. (August 11, 2020 – 12:30 pm to 02:00 pm (AEST))

The Role of Walking in the Movement and Place Policy Framework
Join the Transport Australia society for a panel discussion on “the Role of Walking in the Movement and Place Policy Framework”.

The Movement and Place Framework is increasingly used to guide transport planning in delivering a more integrated transport system to improve customer outcomes and support a range of user groups. This is particularly important for the liveability of places and vibrant streets, where greater numbers of pedestrians gather.

Austroads, the NSW Government Architect and others have recently published a series of guidelines to help understand and implement this framework.

The event will consist of three presentations by our esteemed partners from Walk Sydney, Victoria Walks and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, followed by a Q&A session.

Hear from our panellists on their views on what makes great places and how these places can encourage more walking for a healthier, wealthier and more vibrant society.

Speakers

Ben Rossiter

Ben Rossiter
Victoria Walks & International Federation of Pedestrians

Ben Rossiter is the founding Executive Officer of Victoria Walks and has led a small but enterprising team to see it become the primary Australian organisation leading the move for walkable communities. Victoria Walks is an evidence-based organisation working to get more people walking more every day. The theme of his doctoral dissertation was walking in cities and he takes great pleasure in the simple joy of walking, getting lost in urban areas and exploring new places on foot.

Robyn Davies

Robyn Davies
Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads

Robyn Davies is Program Manager (Cycling and Walking) in the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Queensland. She is an urbanist and transport planner with 20 years’ experience working in state and local governments in Australia and the UK, including 15 years in TMR.

She is an advocate for sustainable transport and making cities great places for people.

David Levinson

David Levinson
Walk Sydney & University of Sydney

Prof David Levinson joined the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney in 2017. He also serves as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering at the University of Minnesota, where from 1999 to 2016, he served on the faculty. He was Managing Director of the Accessibility Observatory and directed the Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems (NEXUS) research group. He held the Richard P Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation (2006-2016). He also served on the graduate faculty of the Applied Economics and Urban and Regional Planning programs at the University of Minnesota. In the academic year 2006-2007 he was a visiting academic at Imperial College in London. He serves as an advisor to Coord.

Dick Van den Dool

Dick van den Dool, Director
Barros van den Dool Active Transport

After more than 30 years in the industry, Dick started his own business in late 2017. The focus is on Active Transport (AT) and Road Safety, the underlying philosophy being to create a healthy planet, people and places. Dick is well known for his extensive research into active transport and traffic calming, bringing fresh ideas from The Netherlands to the attention of the Australian traffic and road safety profession. Most recently he led the research, design and consultation for Bicycle Boulevards in WA, SA and QLD and the related initiative on Safe Street Neighbourhoods. Dick is a committee member of Transport Australia Society (NSW), Cycling Without Age Australia, WalkSydney, BIKEast, Standards Australia (car parking) and the Innovation Panel for Cycling and Walking Australia and New Zealand.

About Transport Australia

Transport Australia is a national organisation with state-based branches and membership is open to all people with an interest in transport issues. Our members deal with the movement of people and goods to, from and within Australia by land, sea and air. The focus of our activity is to improve public debate on strategic transport issues, ensuring transport professionals are at the table when Governments make decisions regarding transport policy, reform and infrastructure investment. Transport Australia is the home for transport professionals in Australia.

Membership is $55 per annum.  To join, go to www.transportaustralia.org.au.

 

 

Date: 11 / 08 / 2020 – 12:30 pm to 02:00 pm (AEST)
Venue: Webinar Only
Cost
Registration

  • EA Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Student Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Non-Member Rate: $30.00 ($27.27 excl. GST)
Key Speaker(s)
Ben Rossiter, Robyn Davies, David Levinson, Dick van den Dool
Host(s)
Engineers Australia, Transport Australia Society
Event Contact
  • Contact: Engineers Australia Member Services
  • Phone: 1300 653 113
  • Email: memberservices@engineersaustralia.org.au
Maximum CPD Hours
1.5

Transportist: August 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of The Transportist, especially to our new readers. As always you can follow along at the  transportist.org or on Twitter.

Transfers magazine from UCLA published an article from me on The 30-Minute City, which is a gussied up extract from the book, which you should have read already, but if not, read this piece.

Research

Abstract: This paper integrates and extends many of the concepts of accessibility deriving from Hansen’s (1959) seminal paper, and develops a theory of access that generalizes from the particular measures of access that have become increasingly common. Access is now measured for a particular place by a particular mode for a particular purpose at a particular time in a particular year. General access is derived as a theoretical ideal that would be measured for all places, all modes, all purposes, at all times, over the lifecycle of a project. It is posited that more general access measures better explain spatial location phenomena.

  • Levinson, D. (2020) Logistic Curve Models of CO2 Accumulation. Transport Findings. [doi]

This article explores the use of logistic-shaped diffusion curves (S-Curves) to predict the accumulation of atmospheric CO2. The research question here is whether forecasts using logistic curves are stable, that is, do they predict consistently over time with different amounts of data? Using data from the Keeling Curve, we find that the best-fit maximum atmospheric CO2 predicted varies significantly by model year when estimating models limited to data available until that point in time. More recently estimated models are more consistent, all indicate that CO2 accumulation will continue in the absence of an external shock to the system.

It is commonly seen that accessibility is measured considering only one opportunity or activity type or purpose of interest, e.g., jobs. The value of a location, and thus the overall access, however, depends on the ability to reach many different types of opportunities. This paper clarifies the concept of multi-activity accessibility, which combines multiple types of opportunities into a single aggregated access measure, and aims to find more comprehensive answers for the questions: what is being accessed, by what extent, and how it varies by employment status and by gender. The Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan region is selected for the measurement of multi-activity accessibility, using both primal and dual measures of cumulative access, for auto and transit. It is hypothesized that workers and non-workers, and males and females have different accessibility profiles. This research demonstrates its practicality at the scale of a metropolitan area, and highlights the differences in access for workers and non-workers, and men and women, because of differences in their activity participation.

Research by Others

Transportist Blog

Transport Findings

  1. Fearnley, Nils, Espen Johnsson, and Siri Hegna Berge. 2020. “Patterns of E-Scooter Use in Combination with Public Transport.” Transport Findings, July. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13707.
  2. Du, Jianhe, and Hesham Rakha. 2020. “Preliminary Investigation of COVID-19 Impact on Transportation System Delay, Energy Consumption and Emission Levels.” Transport Findings, July. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.14103.
  3. Levinson, David. 2020. “Logistic Curve Models of CO2 Accumulation.” Transport Findings, July. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13709.
  4. Chen, Peng, and Haoyun Wang. 2020. “Millennials and Reduced Car Ownership: Evidence from Recent Transport Surveys.” Transport Findings, July. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13886.
  5. Astroza, Sebastian, Alejandro Tirachini, Ricardo Hurtubia, Juan Antonio Carrasco, Angelo Guevara, Marcela Munizaga, Macarena Figueroa, and Valentina Torres. 2020. “Mobility Changes, Teleworking, and Remote Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Chile.” Transport Findings, July. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13489.
  6. Lovelace, Robin, Joseph Talbot, Malcolm Morgan, and Martin Lucas-Smith. 2020. “Methods to Prioritise Pop-up Active Transport Infrastructure.” Transport Findings, July. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13421.
  7. Lock, Oliver. 2020. “Cycling Behaviour Changes as a Result of COVID-19: A Survey of Users in Sydney, Australia.” Transport Findings, June. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13405.
  8. DeWeese, James, Leila Hawa, Hanna Demyk, Zane Davey, Anastasia Belikow, and Ahmed El-geneidy. 2020. “A Tale of 40 Cities:  A Preliminary Analysis of Equity Impacts of COVID-19 Service Adjustments across North America.” Transport Findings, June. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13395.
  9. Wu, Hao. 2020. “Effects of Timetable Change on Job Accessibility.” Transport Findings, June. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13184.
  10. Natera Orozco, Luis Guillermo, Federico Battiston, Gerardo Iñiguez, and Michael Szell. 2020. “Extracting the Multimodal Fingerprint of Urban Transportation Networks.” Transport Findings, June. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13171.
  11. Hosford, Kate, Sarah Tremblay, and Meghan Winters. 2020. “Identifying Unmarked Crosswalks at Bus Stops in Vancouver, Canada.” Transport Findings, June. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.13207.
  12. Lee, Jinhyung, Adam Porr, and Harvey Miller. 2020. “Evidence of Increased Vehicle Speeding in Ohio’s Major Cities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Transport Findings, June. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.12988.

News & Opinion

Books by Others

Books

Logistic Curve Models of CO2 Accumulation

Recently published:

  • Levinson, D. (2020) Logistic Curve Models of CO2 Accumulation. Transport Findings. [doi]

This article explores the use of logistic-shaped diffusion curves (S-Curves) to predict the accumulation of atmospheric CO2. The research question here is whether forecasts using logistic curves are stable, that is, do they predict consistently over time with different amounts of data? Using data from the Keeling Curve, we find that the best-fit maximum atmospheric CO2 predicted varies significantly by model year when estimating models limited to data available until that point in time. More recently estimated models are more consistent, all indicate that CO2 accumulation will continue in the absence of an external shock to the system.

Measured and Modeled CO2 over time
Measured and Modeled CO2 over time