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Environmental protection

Potential of secondary transport areas to promote biodiversity and their role in the spread of alien species - Berlin study area (02.0449)
The structural and landscape elements along railway and road routes as well as waterways are habitats for animals and plants whose ecological value tends to increase. As a network, they are elements of a "green infrastructure". However, transport carriers and transport routes also play a decisive role in the introduction, spread and establishment of alien species. The significance of secondary transport areas as biotopes, their possible role as networking elements in a biotope network and their significance as dispersal paths for alien species are to be investigated as examples in the "Greater Berlin" study area, which covers approximately 23,000 hectares. For this purpose, biotope type mapping, vegetation surveys and faunistic surveys of selected animal groups will be carried out. As a result, the type and spatial continuity of the biotope types as well as their influence by (invasive) alien plants and the potential of the secondary transport areas for the improvement of ecological connectivity and for the preservation of biological diversity will be determined and presented.

Practical application of the methods from ExNet 1.0: Overall noise (69.0004)
In the traffic networks of the different modes of transport, there is an overlapping of the corresponding noise emissions at points where traffic routes cross or run parallel to each other. Especially in dense traffic networks, this means that people are exposed to traffic noise from more than one source. Such an accumulation can be perceived as a nuisance and cause an overall noise situation. In the already concluded project FE 02.0400 "Cross-modal noise accumulation in complex situations", a guideline for dealing with such overall noise situations was developed. With the help of the presentation tools of the guideline, overall noise situations can now be adequately and comparably assessed and efficient and effective measures can be found. The aim of the current follow-up project is to apply the guideline in practice on the basis of specific noise situations: In this way, a review and further development of the methodology is to be achieved with regard to, among other things, informative value, comprehensibility, transparency and practical suitability, and dissemination to relevant user groups is to be promoted. and dissemination to relevant user groups is to be promoted.

Testing psychoacoustic parameters for innovative noise reduction strategies (02.0431)
In complex traffic or development situations, conventional noise reduction measures may be difficult or impossible to apply. In such cases, it would be desirable to have an extended range of measures available. Since the disturbing effect of noise sources on humans does not necessarily correlate only with the sound level, but also depends on the frequency composition and the temporal structure of the sound signal, psychoacoustic parameters have increasingly come to the fore in this respect in recent years. Consequently, different sounds with the same sound level can be perceived differently in terms of annoyance. The aim of this research project is to investigate the applicability of psychoacoustic parameters to traffic noise and to expand the current range of measures aimed at reducing noise immission levels.

Evaluation of the effectiveness of existing overflight aids for bats on roads (02.0440)
Although bat protection has been regularly considered in road construction measures for many years, implementation in the federal states is still very heterogeneous. The traffic and the construction of roads have direct (collision death) or indirect (fragmentation, impairment of habitats) effects on the animals. One way to protect bats from traffic is to use hop-over aids. Hop-over are narrow, tall structures along the roadside that are designed to keep the altitude of the bats crossing the road above the vehicles. The functional effectiveness of existing overflight aids has not been fully scientifically clarified. The aim of the project is to examine and evaluate the installed overflight aids on roads with regard to their effectiveness. In addition to the current status quo, the result of this project should be recommendations as to whether and in what context overflight aids should be used in the future.

Noise weather in practice: Testing and further development of the methodology for applying meteorological corrections to sound propagation (02.0438)
Meteorological influences can cause effects that favour or impair sound propagation. However, for the sake of a better applicability, detailed weather conditions are not explicitly considered in the national acoustic calculation models. Based on a proposed method for applying a meteorological correction, a validation and initial testing by relevant stakeholders is to be carried out and evaluated on the basis of concrete cases on federal roads. This is important in order to examine the practical suitability of the method, identify any need for improvement and create a statistically valid basis for the transfer to general study areas. The method is to be reviewed and further developed with regard to its reliability, comprehensibility and transparency, among other things.

Acoustic effectiveness of buckled and curved noise barriers (02.0419)
In addition to conventional, flat, vertical noise barriers, buckled and curved noise barriers or noise barriers with different impedances are also used to reduce noise levels on motorways. So far, only the position of the diffraction edge is considered in the noise calculation according to the "Guidelines for Noise Protection on Roads - RLS-19". On the one hand, the shape of the noise barrier, especially if it cantilevers over the road, has not been adequately treated in calculation programes for noise prediction so far. On the other hand, the reflection of differently shaped noise barriers or noise barriers with different impedance cannot be calculated. The aim of the research project is to create calculation modules that convert the three-dimensional measurement or calculation results into algorithms for the two-and-a-half-dimensional calculation method. These modules can then be used - in terms of formulas and language - in a revised RLS.

SOPRANOISE (6319014)
The performance of in-situ tests of airborne sound insulation and reflection of noise barriers (DIN EN 1793-5 and -6) is metrologically demanding and time-consuming. Therefore, the methods are only practicable for random checks. Fast measurement procedures for the acceptance of new noise barriers or for testing damaged noise barriers are desirable. The SOPRANOISE project (Securing and Optimising the Performance of Road trAffic NB with New methOds and In-Situ Evaluation) addresses new tools for evaluating the acoustic effectiveness of noise barriers. The primary objective is to develop an innovative, fast and safe method for easy in-situ characterisation of installed noise barriers. For this purpose, a structured recommendation for an inspection procedure is to be established

Study on the effectiveness of game warning systems (03.0576)
Among experts the use of wildlife warning systems (WWA) is an accepted instrument for the prevention of serious wildlife accidents. Several systems exist in Germany. Within the framework of an economic review, the effectiveness of game warning systems was questioned. In this context, individual functional checks showed that WWAs can be impaired by different factors: On the one hand, technical limitations or detection errors due to system weaknesses (loss of reliability in detecting wildlife), on the other hand, secondary factors - for example, vegetation covering sensors. In this project, the functionality and effectiveness of existing wildlife warning systems in Germany will be investigated in detail. Since wildlife accident figures on the section of road before and after the installation of the system are often used to assess the effectiveness of wildlife warning systems, a consistent system for recording wildlife accidents is to be developed that can be applied generally. In addition, the basis for a differentiated economic assessment of the use of WWAs is to be created.

Glare effects with retro-reflective traffic signs (6319013)
According to experts, 90 percent of information in road traffic is communicated visually. The necessary visual communication is generally made possible by light-effective road equipment and appropriate lighting. Retroreflective traffic signs are an important device for visual communication between road users and the road. Traffic signs can only fulfil their function if they are clearly visible to the road user. The visibility of traffic signs is essentially determined by their photometric properties (reflection value and brightness in daylight) and by the luminous intensity distribution of the motor vehicle headlamp, which are described in detail in European and national regulations. In addition to these photometric properties, location, ageing, soiling, condensation and glare are also influencing factors that should not be neglected. In the present research project, the occurrence of glare as well as other photometric effects (rainbow effect) on retro-reflective traffic signs due to light irradiation is to be investigated in dependence on the reflective sheeting structures commonly available on the market. The results obtained will then be used in national and international regulations to define requirements.

MesSBAR (6319010)
Air quality mitigation strategies and pollution level limitation are important aspects of ensuring quality of life. Air pollutants are typically measured stationary at various locations and predicted by models. The knowledge on the vertical distribution of pollutants can yet only be obtained with a high logistical and financial effort, but plays an important role for transport and distribution models. To improve predictions and verify measures of pollutant reduction, a flexibly deployable mobile measurement system is necessary. In the project MesSBAR, an aerial and modular pollutant measurement system is being developed and deployed in the vicinity of motorways, urban an industrial areas to record the distribution of particulate matter, soot, NOx and O3 up to a height of one kilometre. Several copters measure in a coordinated manner upwind and downwind of emission and immission areas. Deployments are selected by pollutant predictions in order to improve them. The focus is on the usability of the system, the insurance of high data quality and the provision and publication of the data.

Settlement potential and ruderalisation effects of road-influenced areas (02.0390)
The vegetation on roadside and intervention areas is disturbed or completely removed during construction measures and partly during road operation. Usually, an attempt is made to restore the previous state approximately. The species brought in often do not correspond to the current site conditions or show insufficient growth success. Alien and invasive plant species quickly colonise open soil areas. Their usually mass occurrence not only displaces native plant species from neighbouring sites, but can also act as a biological barrier and thus adversely affect the distribution and genetic exchange of naturally occurring species. The project aims to investigate whether roadside areas can be improved in terms of nature conservation and balanced more favourably in the procedure of impact mitigation.

Acoustic Efficacy of Vegetation (02.0423)
One aspect that is becoming increasingly important in times of rising traffic volumes is the use of forests and vegetation to protect traffic routes from noise. The guidelines for noise protection on roads (RLS) do not yet take sound level attenuation by vegetation, especially forests, into account. Since the end of the 1940s, the acoustic shielding effect of forests and vegetation has repeatedly been the subject of investigations and studies in order to determine the sound-insulating properties of different forest stands and vegetation structures and to be able to describe them as a function of forest parameters. On the one hand the noise reduction comprises the physical reduction of the sound level, on the other hand the visual screening can already lead to a subjective decrease of the noise perception. The exact attenuation values depend strongly on the meteorological, seasonal and forestal environmental conditions. A simple method for the consideration of the physical sound level reduction during propagation by dense vegetation from trees and bushes can be found in the ISO 9613-2, but for various reasons it is not used in the RLS. The aim of this project is to determine the acoustic effectiveness and frequency-dependent sound insulation by forest and vegetation strips of different vegetation widths (between approx. 40 and 100 m) next to motorways and highways.

Development of invasive plants on secondary traffic areas - a follow-up study on former BMVI long-term test areas (02.0428)
Non-native plant species often occur on roadside areas and then spread along them. Appropriate maintenance measures can be used to prevent and manage such species, but maintenance plans for this species are not yet uniformly available. International agreements and the various national laws and guidelines impose requirements and obligations that must be taken into account in the planning, construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure. In order to ensure compliance with these objectives, the development of suitable maintenance measures for roadside areas is of great importance. In 1984, the BMVI established a total of 18 long-term test areas on federal trunk roads in order to investigate the influence of maintenance measures for succession control on roadside areas. In this project, an evaluation of these roadside areas is planned, in which the occurrence of alien plant species in particular is to be assessed. In addition, the potential of maintenance measures to promote biodiversity and to avoid alien plant species will be assessed. The results should serve as a basis for the optimisation of measures to control or eliminate alien plant species and to promote biodiversity on roadside areas.

Abrasion of road surfaces (02.0424)
Air pollutant measurements throughout Germany show that the immission limit values for some air pollutants laid down in the "Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe" are in some cases significantly exceeded, especially at locations close to traffic. Although in recent years some measures have already led to a reduction in air pollutant pollution, particularly in the case of particulate matter, in some places the daily limit value has still been exceeded. In addition to engine-related particle emissions from exhaust gases, traffic-generated particles are also diffusely emitted by abrasion from tyres, brakes and road surfaces or by resuspension of road dust. The abrasion of road surfaces causes a significant contribution depending on the state of preservation of the road surface. The worse the road condition, the higher the emission potential. For the planning of pollutant-reducing measures in the course of road construction and new road construction, models are used which must be subjected to continuous improvement of the input data. For the modelling emission factors over the abrasion contributing to the particle fractions PM10 and PM2.5 are required with the highest possible accuracy. At present, however, only fixed emission factors for non-engine-related abrasion emissions from road surfaces, some of which are associated with a high degree of uncertainty, are available in the "Guidelines for determining air quality on roads without or with loose peripheral development" (RLuS). The aim of the project is to carry out a systematic investigation of the abrasion behaviour and thus the particle emission of different road surfaces.

The potential of secondary transport areas to promote biodiversity and their role in the spread of alien species (02.0409)
Side traffic areas on roads, railways or waterways can provide habitats for animals and plants. Against the background of ongoing landscape change and future climate changes, the ecological value of such areas is increasing. The potential of secondary transport areas has not yet been sufficiently analysed for the conservation and development of biodiversity and has therefore not been sufficiently exploited. This project is intended to provide the basis for the optimisation of measures to promote biodiversity, an improvement in the ecological networking of transport routes across modes of transport and the targeted and cost-effective control of neobiota. The aim is to obtain an inventory of predominant biotope types, vegetation and selected animal groups in the three transport modes road, rail and waterway.

Relationship between reduced noise limits and in-use noise emissions in different traffic situations (02.0402)
Against the background of increasing traffic volumes, noise abatement is an ongoing challenge for all modes of transport. In the past, for example, the type-test limits for the entire vehicle and for tyres have continued to fall, while in the real traffic situation little has been achieved in terms of noise reduction. If real noise emissions are present for different driving situations, any need for changes to the regulations for vehicles and certain components can be specifically defined. The first step in the project is to select road sections that are as representative as possible and on which traffic noise measurements can be carried out. In a second step, level statistics on the road sections are to be collected at a suitable distance within at least one hour. Acoustically conspicuous events are to be documented. In a third step, the measurements are to be evaluated and statistically processed. The investigated in-use noise emissions of different traffic situations (speeds, accelerations, road surfaces, etc.) are to be transferred to the noise immissions in a sound propagation calculation. In addition, comparative considerations with the emission assumptions of the revised RLS-90 (Guidelines for Noise Protection on Roads) are to be carried out.

Management of invasive species (6317018)
Unlike areas used for agriculture and forestry, roadside areas are not subject to productive use and have great potential for positively contributing to biological diversity and the requirements of nature conservation law. On the other hand, many invasive species occur preferably on roadside areas and frequently spread along them. This increased occurrence of primarily invasive plant species can on the one hand endanger the native biodiversity whilst on the other present a safety risk to traffic because some of these species grow fast or high or are hazardous to health. The aim of the project is to obtain an overview of the occurrence of invasive plant species on roadside areas and measures taken so far to control and eliminate them. The results are to provide the foundation for the optimisation of measures to manage invasive plant species and to promote and maintain biodiversity on roadside areas.

Monitoring and analysis of the coarse dust incidence (6388004)
International studies of recent years indicate a marked change in climate in the coming decades. Climate models predict a rise in regional strong wind and storm events. They can endanger traffic safety by raising and transporting loose soil material. A temperature-related rise in tyre abrasion particles can also lead to a distinct increase in mass concentration in the particle fraction range from 2.5 to 10 µm and to the overstepping of PM10 thresholds. In addition to endangering traffic safety and exceeding air pollutant thresholds, climate-change-related extreme weather events can also mean that the useful life of road structures is impaired considerably and the road surface abrasion increased. Long-term monitoring will be implemented to quantitatively and qualitatively record the influence of climate change on the development of coarse dust on traffic routes. A corresponding hazard potential and suitable avoidance measures can be determined from the results.

Development of a database to calculate exemplary noise situations including sound emission data from roads as a mode of transport and meteorological data (02.0416)
Meteorological influences can cause special effects which favour the spread of sound and reduce the acoustic effectiveness of existing noise protection measures. The research project firstly serves as a feasibility study with the aim of examining the usefulness of complex meteorological sound propagation models and resultant weather-corrected immission levels for roads as a mode of transport. Secondly, a database is to be provided for an investigation area which contains the necessary inputs to calculate noise situations incorporating weather information so that correlations between defined weather profiles and immission levels can be shown. The consideration of the local microclimate in planning and implementing noise protection measures is intended to assist in making efficient noise protection decisions and to provide additional help in individual cases for optimised noise protection measures.

Reduction in the indirect negative effect of roadside animal habitats (02.0372)
The green roadside areas of federal highways provide a habitat to many animal species. However, the proximity to moving traffic means that these animals risk being killed if they stray onto the road. The research project is aimed at determining the relationship between the contribution made by these roadside areas to the reproductive rates of a representative selection of species and the rate of their mortality caused by road traffic. It is intended to make a first quantifiable contribution to this problem. Emphasis is to be placed on animal species relevant to planning. The expected findings in the project can provide basic new arguments in the discussion on the contribution made by roadside areas under species protection law.

Network of experts: designing environmentally friendly transport and infrastructure (6316006)
The topic of “Designing environmentally friendly transport and infrastructure” in the Federal Ministry of Transport’s “Knowledge – Ability – Action” network of experts makes environmental science contributions to the National Sustainable Development Strategy from the perspective of mobility and to the National Mobility Strategy from the perspective of sustainability/the environment. The objective is to shape mobility in such a way as to ensure that natural resources and the ecosystem services based on them remain available for future generations. Where possible, the ecosystem services and infrastructure services should be positively coupled. The environmentally friendly design of transport and infrastructure is becoming a central requirement of sustainable development. All modes of transport have common conservation goals when considering harmful effects on the environment.

Material retention in rainwater retention basins (05.0154)
Requirements under water law and nature conservation law have placed tougher demands in recent years on the cleaning performance of drainage facilities on roads outside urban areas. This affects expansion and new builds, but also increasingly existing systems in need of upgrading. There are several large volume rainwater retention basins for road runoff which, depending on the dimensioning, are only fully utilised once in every one to ten years. Since the majority of pollutants in road runoff are attached to particles, studies are to investigate whether targeted sedimentation in these large basins and the ensuing improved retention of particulate matter from the road runoff over and above that achieved by the hydraulic retention function significantly improves the material pollutant burden on waters. The aim is to examine whether it is also possible to achieve improved material retention for priority substances under the Water Framework Directive that occur in the road runoff. Proposals for converting existing basins and building new basins are to be derived from this, their efficiency in terms of material retention proven and proposals for incorporating results in rules and standards developed.

Continuation of RLuS (02.0375)
The “Guidelines for Determining the Air Quality on Roads with or without Widely-spaced Peripheral Development - RLuS 2012” are currently being applied by the responsible road building authorities in accordance with the General Circular on Road Construction ARS 29/2012 for planning approval procedures in order to estimate the air pollution to be expected. The RLuS are additionally used on existing traffic routes where there are specific questions concerning planning measures. The RLuS must therefore be kept up-to-date, which means they must be revised regularly. The updates are to be incorporated into the existing RLuS over a period of five years as part of an ongoing process. In this way it is possible to react promptly to research results and new requirements of users and for relevance to be guaranteed. This provides the road building authorities with an up-to-date basis for suitably implementing the legal requirements of air pollution control when calculating the air pollution emanating from a road in statutory planning approval and permission procedures.

Effectiveness of Wildlife Warning Reflectors (SV 0010)
In order to reduce the number of vehicle-wildlife accidents, optically reflective wildlife warning reflectors are often installed on roadside reflector posts. These are designed to direct the light from passing vehicles onto specific roadside areas in order to frighten the animals away and thus prevent vehicle-wildlife accidents. The effectiveness of wildlife warning reflectors has not, however, been scientifically proven. This project seeks to examine the extent to which optical wildlife warning reflectors can be an effective instrument in the prevention of vehicle-wildlife accidents. To this end, the technical function of the reflectors will be examined. A comprehensive review of the literature will also determine the physiological characteristics of the relevant animal species in respect to their perception of light and light reflection.

2D-Array for SPB measurements with reflections (02.0327)
The taking of measurements in accordance with the Statistical Pass-by method (SPB) in order to determine noise emissions from road surfaces is especially difficult in built-up areas. Up to now, only the what is referred to as the “Backing Board“ was available, with which the reverse noise reflections are shielded, enabling measurements to be taken in front of surfaces which reflect noise. The spectrum is falsified however due to the reflection at the board and diffraction around the board edges. With a 1D-Array (distribution of microphones in a line along the carriageway), it is possible to correctly measure the maximum level of vehicles which are being driven close behind each other. In the scope of the project, a 2D-Array with the microphones being positioned in a level which is aligned in keeping with the road axis enables measurements to be taken of the maximum pass-by level in front of reflecting surfaces. A check is also to be carried out in order to determine whether the spectrums are correctly reproduced as is the case with free field measurements, or whether these are falsified as with the backing board.

Measuring the traffic-related deposition of substances along the sides of roads (6390001)
Road traffic emissions cause pollutants to accumulate along the sides of roads. A large part of this is deposited on the hard shoulder and along the edge of the roadway; depending on the type of drainage system used, the pollutants are then washed onto the adjoining soil. Decades of pollution have caused the soil adjoining roadways to have a relatively high content of heavy metals. Organic substances such as PAH also frequently occur at higher concentrations. The spatiotemporal changes effected in the soil and drainage system and the pollutant volume transported in the seepage water are to be evaluated within the framework of this project. Steps are to be identified to effect reductions and to check the success of such steps. The positive side-effects of a reduction in such deposits are that there will be fewer problems and costs caused by pollutants in hard shoulder scrapings, sweepings, mud taken from drainage basins and air-borne particles. The results are required to compile and revise regulations for the planning, construction and operation of roads and further regulations governing the use of mineral waste in road construction.

Air quality on Federal highways (BAB) (6390000)
The 22nd Federal Immission Control Ordinance (BImSchV) calls for the compliance of maximum permissible values of air pollutant concentrations for sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), nitrogen dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM10), lead (Pb), benzene (C6H6) and carbon monoxide (CO). In addition, new threshold and target values of ozone (O3) are set by the new 33rd BImSchV. These maximal permissible values also form the basis for project approval procedures as part of the assessment of environmental effects. Should these limits being exceeded be forecasted, traffic limiting measures, such as traffic bans or traffic and speed restrictions for the reduction in air pollutants, may be required with the establishment of a clean air plan. Since 1987, BASt has carried out continuous ongoing measurements of the air pollutants nitrogen oxides, ozone and particulate matter at measuring cross sections, within the framework of this project. The air pollutant data is collected at three cross sections, evaluated in relation to the cross section and comparatively, and processed for further analyses in other projects. The measurement results are also incorporated in the regular processing and updating of the PC program MLuS. The data, collected over a longer time period, allows for the evaluation of the effects of new or changed requirements.