Analyzing the social impacts of scooters with geo-spatial methods

Alexey Voinov, Javier Morales, Hanneke Hogenkamp

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Scooters, or gasoline powered two-wheelers, are becoming increasingly popular in the Netherlands. They provide fast, independent and affordable transportation, especially in urban congested areas. Unfortunately, they also have considerable adverse impacts on the environment and human health. The three most prominent impacts are associated with air pollution, noise pollution and traffic accidents. While the total contribution of emissions by scooters is relatively small compared to total traffic related emissions, they have a disproportionally large impact on their direct environment, especially when sharing roads with bicycles as in the Netherlands, where they are characterized as super-polluters. A scoping GIS based assessment, using theoretical and available secondary data, could identify routes with highest likelihood of scooter presence to estimate exhaust and noise impacts and related traffic accidents. Estimated are provided for the total population, and the number of childcare facilities within the impact areas. For future projections four different scenarios are analyzed. For the case study of the town of Enschede in the Netherlands the present noise/exhaust environmental impact of scooters is affecting at least 30% of the population and in the future this number can increase to 38%–53%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-538
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of environmental management
Early online date7 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019

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