Analysis of the impacts of an environmental traffic management system on vehicle emissions and air quality

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Courtesy of IVU Umwelt GmbH

Environmental traffic management systems (ETMS) are implemented to improve air quality in urban streets. They allow for a situation-related control of light signal systems to optimise road capacities and enhance traffic flow in street sections. Therefore, they are equipped with mitigation strategies and continuously provided with traffic and air quality data. In this context, it is usually presumed that improving the traffic flow results in lower vehicle emissions and thus in lower pollutant concentrations, provided that the vehicle intensity does not change.

In order to verify this assumption and to quantify potential effects, a test case has been set up in Cologne, Germany. The Cologne clean air plan 2006 reports NO2 limit value exceedances at several monitoring stations and pollutant concentrations close to the limit values throughout the inner city. A low emission zone has been established for Cologne on January 1st, 2008, as a first step to improve air quality. Additionally, it is planned to install an ETMS for two heavily trafficked areas of Cologne. One of the two areas was chosen as a test case for which modelling was carried out in advance to assess the impacts of the ETMS on traffic-induced emissions and air quality. This paper describes the modelling procedure and discusses the outcome.

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