Analysis of Changes in Traffic Volumes and Near-Road Air Pollutant Levels Resulting from Coronavirus Pandemic Stay-at-Home Policies

Focus Area

Air Quality


Air Quality






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

Traffic volumes dropped substantially across the nation as a result of stay-at-home policies implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in improved air quality which in turn can lead to improved health for sensitive populations. This study would review available US DOT national traffic data and EPA near-road air quality monitoring data to assess and document the changes, and assess how well EPA air quality emission and dispersion models perform in predicting the changes in near-road concentrations as a result of the changes in traffic. The results would inform future transportation and air quality planning efforts.

Urgency and Payoff

Could provide additional insight into background concentrations vs road contribution – better evaluation of projects.

Suggested By

Karin Landsberg WSDOT 360-705-7491

[email protected]