Guide provides strategies for cleaner air near busy roadways

Think roundabouts, not stoplights

Posted April 27, 2017

A new guide issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) aims to protect the health of people who live and work near busy roadways.

The technical guide, Strategies to Reduce Air Pollution Exposure Near High-Volume Roadways, addresses concerns raised about the potential health effects from living and working in existing or planned developments near busy roads. The guide provides useful strategies for urban planners and policy makers to reduce:

  • Traffic emissions;
  • The concentration of air pollution from vehicles; or
  • Pollution from the air.

Strategies were chosen based on peer-reviewed scientific literature and CARB-sponsored research products. Examples of strategies include using roundabouts rather than stoplights to reduce stop and go driving, sound walls and vegetation to help dispel pollution, and air filters in buildings to remove pollutants from indoor air.

CARB says these strategies are especially important in infill developments, which put people close to public transit, reduce the need to drive, and promote biking or walking. However, the health benefits of these communities can be reduced if they are built next to congested highways.


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