Air quality and noise overview
Summary of indicator
To estimate air quality, noise and greenhouse gas emissions impacts from road traffic.
Movement infrastructure needs to be assessed for impacts at a local scale. Activities associates with high traffic volumes and speeds can negatively affect places. Air pollution from motor vehicles, particularly fine particles (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), has health impacts on exposed communities.
This indicator will support practitioners to understand air quality and road traffic noise levels and their health impacts for non-complex scenarios. Based on the outcome of the assessment, practitioners can determine the design and operation of roads and streets are in relation to adjacent land uses.
Practitioners can use the risk of land use conflicts metric to assess the level of risk of exposure to air pollution from road traffic for both residential and sensitive locations.
Practitioners can use the monetary environmental cost of traffic metric to assess the economic impact of air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and noise from road traffic to society.
Practitioners can use the noise impacts metric to assess the noise decibels resulting from road traffic.
- Analysis of air quality in the metrics provided incorporates a preliminary and semi-qualitative assessment of road traffic air quality impacts
- An air quality health impact metric with a methodology based on PM2.5 is under development and will be included on future iterations of this factsheet
- To enrich the analysis, population density could be considered, particularly in relation to the sensitive land-uses.
- This process could ultimately lead to the development of an interactive tool to estimate and predict noise impacts related to traffic volumes
- For existing conditions, baseline information could be collated to calibrate the tool to produce more precise noise impacts outputs, based on the land use design and development
- For new infrastructure developments or road corridors upgrades, the tool could be calibrated based on a mix of baseline information and forecasted traffic volume data to produce reliable noise impact outputs
- In the case of major road corridor developments, the interactive tool could also be used to evaluate noise impacts for different options (alignments, number of lanes, central reservation or kerb size) to support computational noise propagation software (i.e. SoundPLAN, CadnaA) and environmental noise studies (i.e. REF, EIS).
Metrics in detail