Effects of Chemicals on Roadside Vegetation and Identification of Best Management Practices

Focus Area

Invasive Species/Vegetation Management


Natural Resources




Under $99k


Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

Research problem statement – The extent to which state DOTs consider and implement maintenance programs to reduce pesticide and herbicide applications, and cause disturbance of roadside vegetation, as well as use deicing agents, is unknown. All of these chemicals affect the ability of the near roadside as well as more distant reaches from the road to be used by several species of wildlife.
Best Management Practices need to be identified and disseminated for use in other locations.
Objectives – to optimize chemical use to meet transportation objectives while minimizing the environmental impacts along roadsides and beyond.
Research proposed – Investigate state methodology for these treatments, summarize, and identify good practices.

Urgency and Payoff

All of these chemicals have widespread use, but the individual and cumulative knowledge of their impacts is unknown. Some of these chemicals are particularly onerous to amphibians, already hard hit by climate change. Reduction in use of chemicals to the minimum needed would save DOTs money for the treatments as well as reduce environmental impacts.

Suggested By

ADC30, Ecology and Transportation Committee, as specified in the TRB Research Needs Database, 2009 (Submitted to TRB Database 8/2007)