Impacts of Wildfire Smoke and Other Area-Wide Air Pollution on Multimodal Traffic Volumes

Increasing episodes of area-wide air pollution – from wildfire smoke and other sources – in urban and rural communities in the western/central US suggest a need for transportation infrastructure managers to understand how traffic patterns across multiple transportation modes are affected by these air pollution events. This project studies the effects of wildfire smoke and other area-wide air pollution on multimodal traffic volumes in Utah by analyzing multiple fused traffic, air quality, weather, and geospatial data sources. First, the research team quantifies how much and for how long air pollution impacts multimodal traffic volumes (motor vehicle volumes, transit ridership, and bicycle/pedestrian counts) after controlling for other factors, such as weather. Second, the team identifies how air pollution results in aggregate-level travel behavior changes, such as mode share adjustments, shifts of trips to later days, or changes in vehicle miles traveled. Third, the team characterizes spatial variations in how air pollution impacts multimodal traffic volumes and aggregate travel behavior changes. This information could be used by transportation agencies to manage infrastructure operations and to prepare for and mitigate any traffic impacts and mode shifts due to smoke from wildfires, wintertime inversions, and other area-wide pollution events.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $180000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Project Managers:

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Performing Organizations:

    Civil & Environmental Engineering Department

    Utah State University
    Logan, UT  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Singleton, Patrick

    Park, Keunhyun

  • Start Date: 20210824
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-662

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01781411
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Sep 7 2021 10:53PM