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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2018, Article ID 7514612, 10 pages
Research Article

Sustainable Highway Design: Disentangling the Effects of Geometric-Related and Traffic-Related Factors on Urban Highway Traffic Emissions

1Shenyang Urban Planning Design & Research Institute, Shenyang 110004, China
2Shanghai Pudong Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd., Shanghai 201204, China
3Key Laboratory of Road and Traffic Engineering of Ministry of Education, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
4School of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
5China Institute of Urban Governance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
6State Engineering Laboratory of Highway Maintenance Technology, Changsha University of Science & Technology, Changsha, Changsha 410004, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yi Zhang; nc.ude.utjs@yhznerrad

Received 6 September 2017; Accepted 5 July 2018; Published 16 September 2018

Academic Editor: Mariano Angelo Zanini

Copyright © 2018 Xue Bing et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reducing highway traffic emissions, which is a major part of China's total transportation-related emissions, is a key to China's sustainable development. However, the effects of geometric-related and traffic-related factors on highway traffic emissions are rarely studied in China. Employing data collected from Cao'an Highway in Shanghai, China, and Traffic Software Integrated System (TSIS) as a simulation tool, this paper analyzed the effects of three geometric-related factors and one traffic-related factor on three traffic emissions (HC, CO, and NOx). The geometric-related factors are lane width, number of vehicle lanes, and intersection lane configuration, and the traffic-related factor is free-flow speed. The results indicated that (1) widening the lane width may cause the increase of CO emissions, (2) increasing the number of vehicle lanes may result in the decrease of all three emissions, (3) intersection lane configuration has significant influence on traffic emissions, and (4) the average speed of 23-24 mph is associated with the lowest traffic emissions. The research findings will facilitate the understanding on effects of various factors on highway traffic emissions and provide insights for policy-makers, scholars, and engineers into the improvement of sustainable highway design and management.