Pricing Vehicle Emission and Congestion on an Urban Road Network using a Dynamic Traffic Simulator.
Article Critique: Pricing Vehicle Emissions and Congestion on an Urban Road Network using Dynamic Traffic Simulator
In their insightful piece, Vosough, de Palma, and Lindsey (2020) contribute to the ongoing efforts geared towards the reduction of congestion and air pollution in urban centers by proposing a simulation model, which should be applied during the architectural phase to ensure that road users part with convenient amounts of money as a reimbursement for the emissions from their vehicles. These authors believe that the METROPOLIS framework can go a long way in reducing unwarranted traffic by charging road users (drivers) based on the time spent on traffic. This model is grounded on the belief that at least 1,536 points of pollutants such as CO, PM2.5, CO2, and NOX are emitted every 500 meters. For this reason, they suggest installation of polls at such intervals to price road users for the same.
The most valuable aspect of this piece is its reliance on a proved architectural model for public roads. The METROPOLIS framework takes various factors into account, including the time spent by travelers on road as well as the costs of transit. It offers an opportunity to design transport networks that reduce both time and money spent on trips while still charging the users on the basis of congestion and emission. The need for this model is further affirmed by the use of statistical data showing high health costs when the intervention is not applied.
Opportunities for Improvement
As much as the authors rely on a valuable tool to recommend transformative change in the road transport systems, they do not break down the information effectively. Such a bold declaration is inspired by the belief that this piece is written for policymakers and lobbyists, yet it is not easy to decipher. Perhaps, further explanation of the METROPOLITAN model can help enhance its value to a broader audience.
When reading through this paper, I learnt that the value of information is largely attributable to its presentation. Even though this piece offers crucial information, excessive technicalities make it impossible for the most valuable audience (includes lobbyists and policymakers) from grasping its recommendations. On this note, I believe that too much jargon is useless for papers meant to influence public decision.
Fairly stating, this article deserves a flat 80 percent mark (Grade B) since it offers relevant and credible information based on a proved theoretical framework. The 20 percent deduction is attributed to the unwarranted technicality in its presentation considering its target audience.
Vosough, S., de Palma, A., & Lindsey, R. (2020). Pricing Vehicle Emissions and Congestion on an Urban Road Network using Dynamic Traffic Simulator. Canadian Transportation Research Forum.