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Research Report 080 Social severance

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Social severance is the general term applied to the negative effects that roads and their traffic have on social interaction. In particular it relates to the imposition of barriers that deter people's movements. This social severance has been identified as an important impact that requires consideration as part of the assessment of major roading schemes. From a review of selected literature, a working definition of social severance has been developed and the key attributes of the impact have been identified. The literature reviewed has shown that the burden of social severance falls most heavily on those with limited mobility. This includes groups such as children, the elderly and people with disabilities for whom walking is a particularly important form of transport. A number of different severance effects have been identified.

Research Report 261 Strategic environmental assessment: application to transport planning in New Zealand

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is widely used in transport policy development and planning in Europe and North America. It is recognised as a valuable means of analysing and addressing the potential environmental and social impacts of transport policies and plans. In focusing attention on the environment, SEA also serves to highlight the importance of environmental sustainability in transport planning. To date, experience of SEA in New Zealand has been limited. However, recent changes to New Zealand's transport policy and legislative framework provide the opportunity to develop a more systematic approach to SEA. The introduction of the New Zealand Transport Strategy and the Land Tranport Mangement Act 2003 has enhanced significantly recognition of the environmental and social impacts associated with tranport. Importantly, the provisions of the act also incorporate a number of elements of effective SEA.

Research Report 130 Environmental management for roading contractors: I. Overview and case study

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This project was undertaken in 1997–98 to prepare two sets of provisional environmental guidelines for roading contractors carrying out road works in New Zealand. Objectives of the project were to:

provide specific and simple policies and guidelines about the environmental effects of road works, particularly those related to construction, and aimed for use by roading contractors
assist roading contractors to understand the environment within which they work, and 
improve the environmental image of roading contractors. The results of the project are presented as three reports:

Section I - Overview & case study (on this page)
Section II - Provisional guidelines for erosion and sediment management during road works
Section III - Provisional guidelines for environmental management during road works
This first report consists of an overview and a case study with an associated environmental effects assessment used to develop the guidelines.

Research Report 585 Risk assessment of road stormwater run-off

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report describes a GIS-based road stormwater screening (RSS) model developed to upgrade and widen application of the NZ Transport Agency’s 2007 vehicle kilometres travelled screening tool. The RSS model provides a robust, consistent method for assessing relative risks to receiving waterbodies using estimates of copper and zinc from road traffic and non-road (urban) sources. Risk levels are evaluated using contaminant strength and receiving environment sensitivity scores with streams/rivers assessed by sub-catchment reach and coasts/estuaries at their catchment outlets. The model uses nationally consistent datasets and takes account of traffic congestion, load attenuation in the road corridor and land use type. Results of a case study risk assessment of Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour catchment (Pauatahanui Inlet and Onepoto Arm) are described including risk profiling, sensitivity analysis, validation against field data and example applications.

Research Report 131 Environmental management for roading contractors: II. Provisional guidelines for erosion & sediment management during road works

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This project was undertaken in 1997–98 to prepare two sets of provisional environmental guidelines for roading contractors carrying out road works in New Zealand. Objectives of the project were to:

provide specific and simple policies and guidelines about the environmental effects of road works, particularly those related to construction, and aimed for use by roading contractors
assist roading contractors to understand the environment within which they work, and 
improve the environmental image of roading contractors. The results of the project are presented as three reports:

Section I - Overview and case study 
Section II - Provisional guidelines for erosion and sediment management during road works
Section III - Provisional guidelines for environmental management during road works (on this page). This first report consists of an overview and a case study with an associated environmental effects assessment used to develop the guidelines.

Research Report 326 Road surface effects on traffic noise – stage 3: selected bituminous mixes

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The noise from road traffic affects large numbers of people living in the vicinity of State Highways and arterial roads. An increasingly important aspect of developing traffic noise reduction measures is the definition of ‘quiet’ road surface types and their application in affected areas. This project, undertaken in 2004–2005, identifies the noise effect that different low macro-texture bituminous mix road surfaces, such as asphaltic concrete, slurry seal, open graded asphalt and stone mastic asphalt, have on road traffic noise at urban driving speeds and at open road speeds. Significant noise variations, of the order of 2 to 3 dBA, could occur between different bituminous mix road surfaces within the same generic type.

Research Report 395 Enhancing the control of contaminants from New Zealand's roads: results of a road runoff sampling programme

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This study provides guidance on vehicle emission factors (VEFs) for loads of copper and zinc discharged in road runoff, and the performance of stormwater treatment devices for removing these metals and total suspended sediments (TSS). Between February 2008 and June 2009, a field programme comprising the measurement of road runoff volumes and the collection and analysis of runoff samples was conducted at four sites, of differing traffic characteristics, in the Auckland Region. Concentrations of copper and zinc were higher at a congested site than at two sites at which traffic generally moved freely. Substantially lower TSS and metal concentrations were measured at a moderately congested site, counter to expectations and possibly reflecting the recent resealing of the road surface at this location with open-graded porous asphalt (OGPA).

Research Report 083 Road noise generated by concrete block pavements

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The use of concrete block pavers as a road surfacing in residential and industrial areas is increasing in New Zealand. This has raised concerns regarding the noise levels generated by vehicles travelling over such surfaces. A study involving continuous and A-weighted ⅓ octave band spectral analysis of tyre-road noise was therefore undertaken, in 1992, to highlight differences between pavers and to identify prevalent noise-generating mechanisms. Recordings of vehicle exterior and interior noise data, together with vertical axle and body accelerations, were made for three vehicle speeds (30, 45, 60 km/h) on four concrete block pavements selected from residential areas in Rotorua and Auckland, New Zealand. They were subsequently analysed. The resulting noise and acceleration spectra, and recommendations for future investigations, are summarised in this report.

Research Report 462 Lifetime liabilities of land transport using road and rail infrastructure

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The aim of the project was to establish the whole-of-life environmental performance of passenger and freight movement that uses roads and rail. The performance indicators selected were life cycle energy consumption, life cycle stormwater contamination, and life cycle GHG emissions. This study was based on process assessment and considered material use, transport requirements, on-site machinery use, and fuel use. The impacts of traffic delays and rolling resistance were not considered. The study was undertaken in New Zealand between October 2009 and March 2011 using data for the year beginning July 2007 and ending June 2008. The results suggest that the environmental impact of pavements can be altered by earthworks (especially in hilly terrains), choice of construction system, and wearing-course construction. Rail emissions can be influenced by the source of the steel rails used.

Research Report 264 Development of a benefit evaluation technique applicable to treatment of road run-off

Published: | Category: Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This study investigated the potential to define a benefit cost based on the reduction of contaminants provided by a road stormwater run-off treatment device. The basis for benefit definition was the establishment of a link between stormwater treatment and improvement of the receiving environment. A contingent valuation approach was used to derive benefit values. Data from the contingent valuation study was manipulated to generate a benefit values associated with stormwater treatment and this was then converted to a value associated with contaminant reduction ($/kg/year). It was found that a benefit cost ratio can be calculated for stormwater treatment. A process for calculating benefit cost for stormwater treatment was demonstrated and was found to be amenable to improvement as more accurate data becomes available. Keywords: stormwater treatment, cost-benefit, contingent valuation, contaminant load, contaminant reduction, annual run-off volume, suspended solids, petroleum hydrocarbons