Are winter road maintenance practices energy efficient?: A geographical analysis in terms of traffic energy use

Publisher's full text

Snow removal and anti-slip measures on roads are necessary to maintain road safety and a free-flowing transportation system. This is also interesting from an energy perspective as a free-flowing transportation system will use less energy than a congested one. These road maintenance measures focus, however, only on safety and not on energy use at all. This study will try to quantify the need for winter road maintenance in terms of energy in order to determine when, from an energy perspective, it would be best to remove snow or apply anti-icing agents. To explore this, parts of the VTI (Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute) winter model were used. Several scenarios were set in different areas in Sweden in order to investigate a geographical divergence. It is possible to reduce 10.7% of traffic energy use if the starting criterion for snow removal is changed from 1 cm to 2 cm before action needs to be taken. If the speed limit is also reduced from 90 km/h to 70 km/h, the saving could be up to 17.2%. This paper aims to focus on the energy perspective of the winter maintenance operations in Sweden as well as on proposing other aspects of use for the model.

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The conference Vision Zero for Sustainable Road Safety in the Baltic Sea Region is held i Vilnius, Lithuania. VTI is part of the organisation committé and also one of the speakers.

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