Ground-level ozone under traffic disruptions: gasoline and diesel vehicles-free days

Most concerns of pollution centralize the debate on PM, and forget that other pollutants such as ozone may also have impacts on public health. In the literature, little is known about how ozone formation responds to strong traffic disruptions (Davis 2017; Salvo and Wang).  Currently in Bogota, the perspective of the Secretary of Mobility (SM) and Secretary of Environment (SE) is that any traffic ban will be effective to reduce air pollutants. This has been the general argument to enforce car-free days and driving bans during air quality alerts, however, little is known regarding the effect of traffic restrictions on ozone in this city. Thus, considering that ozone is a secondary pollutant with a complex atmospheric chemistry, this project emerged as a way to also analyze whether SM and SE’s view might be true. To enrich our study we also analyze traffic breaks that occurred due to bus/truck strikes in the last decade. During the strikes, public transport and truck deliveries are almost absent. Thus, we assess the impact of strong traffic interruptions on ozone concentration, which allows also variation in vehicle type.

Our project has the following objectives: 1) Assess the impact of gasoline and diesel vehicle free days on ozone concentration. Our estimates will be identified using traffic disruption as a quasi-experimental approach in the context of the regression discontinuity design. 2) Disentangle which chemical regime determines ozone formation (NOx-limited versus VOC limited) under strong traffic disruptions. 3) Discuss policy options to reduce ozone pollution and compute their possible cost/benefit. And 4) Inform policymakers about the effects of traffic disruptions on ozone concentrations

This project was approved during the EfD Annual Meeting in 2019 and will start in 2020.

Project status
Project | 24 January 2020