1) VISION ZERO: Sustainable Transport Safety
2) SMARTer Growth: More Sustainable Development Patterns
Sustainable Transport Safety (STS)
The burden on communities due to the enormous economic and social costs associated with road collisions has been recognized worldwide as a major problem and impacts directly on the sustainability of our society (see WHO, 2013). As 96% of collisions are due to driver error, Dr Lovegrove is pursuing ways to reduce the use of private auto’s as well as evaluate ways to create safer neighbourhoods. He is working on the following areas:
- Sustainable Transportation Safety Evaluation Models
Development of macro-level Collision Prediction Models (CPMs), and guidelines for their use by planners and engineers is a critical need for our community. These models predict mean collision frequency based on associations with variables from one of four neighbourhood characteristic themes, including exposure, socio-demographics (S-D), Transportation Demand Management (TDM), and network. Dr. Lovegrove and his team have developed models for Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, and Ottawa, in Canada. He is seeking partnerships to develop and apply his models in other cities across Canada, with the intent to plan, design, and build neighbourhoods based on his STS principles to validate his theoretical modelling results.
- Interactive High-level Safety Planning Model (IHSPM)
Development and use of a knowledge-based web application based on his macro-level CPMs for remote access to and reference by communities world-wide interested in planning safer, more sustainable communities. Dr Lovegrove is working with ITE, TRB, AASHTO, and FWHA colleagues towards adding an on-line safety planning module (termed the Interactive High-level Safety Planning Model, or IHSPM) to the existing micro-level AASHTO Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) on-line tool, the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (IHSDM). This on-line tool, in coordination with the widely used HCM, will accelerate and automate the development and application of safety planning by practitioners world-wide to preclude safety problems from happening in the first place.
- Sustainable Railway Technology, SoE colleagues
A Transport Canada research service contract has been secured to pursue ways to transition North American railway technology from inefficient, energy-intensive, carbon-based technology, into more globally competitive, innovative and sustainable operations, including: ultra-capacitor driven locomotives, risk-based infrastructure management, and lighter running gear materials. Railway electrification is seen by many as a gateway technology away from current NA diesel-based freight fleets, toward quieter, cleaner, more efficient freight and passenger transport. Dr Lovegrove has built a demonstration track at UBC Okanagan for training and research of his students. He is always looking for railway industry partners to assist in guest lectures and outfitting of his railway research program.
- Transportation Safety Management Systems
Innovative community corridor safety management programs to reduce speeding and promote active transport use, including the City of Kelowna’s Springfield Road corridor research project. This project is analyzing the effectiveness of a multi-prong, integrated approach to manage safety on a busy city arterial, including enforcement, pavement marking, signal phasing, and information technology in real-time adaptive modes.
- Macro-Level Bicycle Comfort and Safety Prediction Model
Cycling is a sustainable and healthy mode of transportation. The objective of this project is to promote cycling by developing a community-based, macro-level bicycle comfort and safety prediction model. The developed model will quantify the safety and comfort levels of cycling routes and will be a tool in the planning and design of more convenient, desirable and safer bicycle facilities.
Sustainable Development Patterns
While there is a global awareness that more sustainable community development patterns are imperative, there is no science-based, empirical agreement on the impacts and benefits of those patterns. As such, Dr Lovegrove’s sustainable communities research seeks to develop reliable, predictive, empirical tools that will quantify those evaluations for community planners, engineers, and decision-makers. Several SoE and UBCO faculty collaboration opportunities have broadened his research focus from strictly transport safety, and into land use systems, as follows:
- OVER PR (Okanagan Valley Electric Regional Passenger Rail)
Dr Lovegrove’s research team efforts on Hydrail (Hydrogen fuel-cell / battery hybrid rail power), a gateway technology to convert all North American regional passenger and freight rail from diesel to zero-emission electric rail systems, at a fraction of the cost of conventional electric rail, thus helping to address our climate change challenges. With results of Dr Lovegrove’s research showing an economically feasible OVER PR by 2039, the discussions and coalition of supporters grows. It is recommended that all future transportation planning in the Okanagan Valley (connecting small and rural communities along Hwy 97 between US border and Kamloops), and similar inter-urban corridors in the Fraser Valley, and on Vancouver Island Malahat corridor, not to mention national inter-urban corridors, take a multi-modal approach that includes zero-emission electric regional passenger rail ‘Hydrail’ technology as is being researched at UBC Okanagan’s Sustainable Transport Safety Research Lab. Motivating factors drawn from research on this topic include:
a. Social – 30% mode split overnight based on similar research; Growing segment of population that do not drive – more seniors, eco-tourists, millennials – yet who need to stay safely connected to tourist destinations, airports, hotels, wineries, healthcare, jobs, services, friends, housing up and down the entire Valley
b. Economic – Local jobs, made-in-BC technology – Hydrogen from renewables; Fuel-cells; retrofit existing diesel locomotives (Southern Railway of BC)
c. Construction cost – delays indefinitely the need for a 2nd crossing, at over $1/2 Billion dollar savings; less cost to build rail than to expand highways, especially since e-rail can travel along the highway corridor at hwy grades.
d. Environment – zero emission rail; removes over 30% of cars, along with associated energy use, GHG emissions, congestion, and crashes
e. Safety – worst 5 intersections outside of Vancouver are in Kelowna, at over $350 million/year in crash costs, injuries, and deaths.
f. Payback – Estimated $1 billion to span 200 km Valley, including stations and modifications to existing floating bridge; payback within two years, ignoring fare revenues.
g. Operating costs – hydrogen from renewables; system maintenance; personnel
h. Financing – P3, using station area redevelopment opportunities to manage and accommodate future growth, as well as revitalizing local transit hubs to each station.
- SMARTer Growth (Fused Grid) Neighbourhoods
His research has resulted in a novel neighbourhood road pattern design – the SMARTer Growth (aka Fused Grid) neighbourhood – that suggests that over 60% of common road collisions in neighbourhoods can be eliminated. He also wishes to use his models to show the progressive improvement in road safety as more and more drivers get out of cars and onto bicycles, buses, and sidewalks. Currently, the City of Calgary is employing Fused Grid design principles in its new subdivision, which Dr Lovegrove plans to research on to confirm its effectiveness.
- Community U-Pass (ComPASS)
Dr Lovegrove has used various Sustainable Community Grants to conduct research into an innovative sustainable transportation program, ComPASS. Combined with an NSERC USRA student, and his NSERC Discovery Grant funds, Dr Lovegrove is researching ways to facilitate a permanent shift by residents of an existing community (Glenmore) to more sustainable transportation habits. This research will model and quantify current patterns together with a social cost benefit analysis of desired outcomes, to inform a consultative design of effective community transition strategies toward more active transportation patterns, and away from private auto use.