Improving the sustainability of transportation: environmental and functional benefits of right-turn by pass lanes at roundabouts

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The functional performances of conventional roundabouts (single-lane and multi-lane) and innovative roundabouts (spiral, flower, C and turbo) can be improved through right-turn bypass lanes controlled by stop, yield or free-flow signs. The article presents evaluations of the emissions of air pollutants (carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particle pollution (PM10 and PM2.5)), fuel consumption and construction, management, energetic and environmental costs in roundabouts without or with bypass lanes (controlled by stop, yield or free-flow). The suggested methodology has a general character and can be applied as a multi-parametric criterion for choosing road intersections, although, in the present paper, it has been employed only for a case study. For the aims of this research, we employed recent closed-form formulations to determine roundabout performances; moreover, we used the Copert IV® software to estimate air emissions in nine different types of vehicles. Numerous traffic simulations were carried out. The variation in the maximum hourly traffic Qmax and annual traffic QTOT provided the appropriate domains of the examined geometric layouts, both in functional and environmental terms and with regard to generalized costs, estimated for a 10-year period. It resulted that the introduction of right-turn bypasses in all arms of conventional roundabouts with a one ring lane and one lane at the entries (single-lane roundabouts) is the most cost-effective when the flows entering the roundabout are higher than Qmax = 2000 veh/h. Moreover, free-flow bypass lanes always provide greater capacity and lower delays than stop- or yield-signaled bypasses. However, with extremely high Qmax values, stop-controlled bypasses guarantee lower fuel consumption, while those with a yield sign lower total costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5838-5856
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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