Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Effects of bike lane features on cyclists’ exposure to black carbon and ultrafine particles

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  • Abstract

    Cyclists might experience increased exposure to air pollution due to their active travel mode and to the proximity to traffic. Several local factors, like meteorology, road and traffic features, and bike lanes features, affect cyclists’ exposure. This paper investigates the effect of the features of the bike lanes on cyclists’ exposure to airborne fine and ultrafine particulate matter and black carbon in the mid-sized city of Piacenza, located in the middle of the Po Valley, Northern Italy. Monitoring campaigns were performed by means of portable instruments along a 40-min urban bike route with bike lanes, characterized by different distances from the traffic source (on-road cycle lane, separated cycle lane, green cycle path), during morning and evening workday rush hours. The proximity to traffic significantly affected cyclists’ exposure to UFP and BC: exposure concentrations measured for the separated lane and for the green path were 1-2 times and 2-4 times lower for the on-road lane. Conversely, exposure concentrations to PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 particle mass were not influenced by traffic proximity, without any significant variation between on-road cycle lane, separated lane or green cycle path.