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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Biking in Fresh Air: Consideration of Exposure to Traffic Related Air Pollution in Bicycle Route Planning

  • Author(s): Boriboonsomsin, Kanok
  • Luo, Jill
  • et al.

Active transportation modes such as walking and biking are key elements of sustainable transportation systems. In order to promote biking as an alternative form of transportation, a holistic approach to improving the quality of the biking experience is needed. The planning of bicycle routes typically takes into consideration available right-of-way, existing roadway infrastructure, vehicular traffic volume, safety concerns, and built environment, among others. Exposure to traffic-related air pollution, on the other hand, is rarely considered despite bicyclists being vulnerable to the harmful air pollution due to their direct exposure to vehicular exhaust and increased breathing rate during biking. This research attempts to fill this gap by developing a method to incorporate reduced exposure to traffic-related air pollution as another consideration in the bicycle route planning process in order to improve the quality of the biking experience and promote active travel.

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