Understanding Time-of-Day Variation in Truck Transport and General Traffic Emissions: Guidance for Strategic Urban Air Quality Investments

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
 Final Report

Primary Investigators

Paul Meier
Wisconsin Energy Institute
University of Wisconsin-Madison


We plan to improve the assessment of vehicle emissions and air quality impacts based on weekday and weekend speed and volume information, aggregated by freeway and arterial roadway type for each of 101 urban areas represented in the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) Urban Mobility Report (UMR). Volume and speed information (for trucks and mixed-vehicles) will be combined with speed-dependent emission factors, in a manner relevant to current EPA guidance for transportation emissions calculations. As such, methods developed in this study can support broader air quality management planning, as well as advanced applied research on mobile-source air quality impacts.


We intend to greatly improve the understanding of how the timing of truck and mixed-vehicle transport affects urban air quality and public health. Our analysis will combine urban time-of-day traffic information and speed-dependent emission factors with new information on the timing of truck transport. This work will support multifaceted freight decision-making, and directly support air quality management at the local, state, and federal levels.


  1. Refine traffic information for air quality and trucking analysis.
  2. Calculate time-of-day air pollution emissions.
  3. Analyze air quality and compare to observations.
  4. Evaluate health impacts of air quality in select Eastern U.S. urban areas.
  5. Final reporting including publications and sharing of data visualizations.

Project Information

  • Duration: 15 months
  • Dates: 8/1/2014 – 10/31/2015
  • Budget: $185,328 (UTC funds) and $186,429 (match funds)
  • Student Involvement: One undergraduate and three graduate students
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 09-07
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