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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 371: Understanding Potential Exposure of Bicyclists on Roadways to Traffic-Related Air Pollution: Findings from El Paso, Texas, Using Strava Metro Data

29 Jan 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 371: Understanding Potential Exposure of Bicyclists on Roadways to Traffic-Related Air Pollution: Findings from El Paso, Texas, Using Strava Metro Data

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16030371

Authors:
Kyuhyun Lee
Ipek N. Sener

As bicycling on roadways can cause adverse health effects, there is an urgent need to understand how bicycle routes expose bicyclists to traffic emissions. Limited resources for monitoring reveal that bicycle travel patterns may constrain such understanding at the network level. This study examined the potential exposure of bicyclists to traffic-related air pollution in El Paso, Texas, using Strava Metro data that revealed bicycle patterns across the city networks. An initial spatial mapping analysis was conducted to explore the spatial patterns of bicycling and traffic pollutant emission, followed by exploratory descriptive statistics. A spatial bicycle model was then developed to explore factors influencing bicycling activity in El Paso. Analysis results indicated significant associations between greater bicycle volume and both higher levels of particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions and more frequent bus services, implying adverse health concerns related to traffic-related air pollution. The results also indicated significant effects of various environmental characteristics (e.g., roadway, bicycle infrastructure, topography, and demographics) on bicycling. The findings encourage extending this study to provide guidance to bicyclists whose regular trips take place on heavily trafficked roads and during rush hours in this region and to evaluate the net health impacts of on-road bicycling for the general population.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health