Measuring Traffic-Related Air Pollution Along Toronto’s Bicycle Network

Now available: Professor Marianne Hatzopoulou’s PDF resource for her UT-ITE seminar on February 17, 2017 at UTTRI, “Measuring air pollution along Toronto’s bicycle network.”

Over the span of the summer of 2016 (May to September), the Transportation and Air Quality (TRAQ) Research Group measured air pollution along bicycle routes in Toronto. In this study, cyclists were equipped with air pollution monitoring devices and GPS units mounted on their bikes. They collected data as they cycled throughout the city at various times of day and days of the week.

In this seminar, Dr. Hatzopoulou presented the levels of two pollutants associated with traffic emissions across the bike network, and identified the most polluted cycling routes. She also discussed the effects of meteorology, land-use, road density, buildings, and other characteristics of the built environment, on air pollution levels, in an attempt to answer the question: “What makes a specific road more polluted than another?” Finally, she presented statistical models that allow us to predict air pollution in areas where no sampling occurred. With this data, we can begin to identify ways to better plan bicycle lanes and routes while taking into account the air pollution exposure of cyclists.

Dr. Marianne Hatzopoulou is a Canada Research Chair in Transportation and Air Quality, and leads the Transportation and Air Quality (TRAQ) research group. Her expertise is in modelling road transport emissions and urban air quality as well as evaluating population exposure to air pollution. Her research aims to capture the interactions between the daily activities and travel patterns of urban dwellers and the generation and dispersion of traffic emissions in urban environments. She has developed regional GHG emission inventories for Toronto, Montreal, and Philadelphia as well as evaluated the potential of travel demand and technology scenarios on emission reduction. She has been invited on a number of panels and colloquia to speak about strategies to reduce transportation-related GHG emissions. In addition, Dr. Hatzopoulou has an active research stream in air pollution exposure and health. She has spearheaded a number of large air pollution monitoring campaigns and investigated potential determinants of exposure including meteorological effects, road geometry, the types of built environments, and traffic composition. She has also designed and implemented panel studies aiming at linking exposure to traffic emissions with measurable physiological changes in study participants. She works closely with epidemiologists in the development of improved measures for air pollution exposure and has received funding from federal and provincial health agencies to conduct integrative research in transportation, air pollution, and public health.