Are toll roads eco-friendly?



Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

Posted on November 16, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 16 at 12:29 PM

Are you saving gas and the environment by driving on toll roads?

The results of a new study released Monday morning may answer that question.

The study, conducted on behalf of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), tested whether vehicles on the 183A toll road use less fuel and give off fewer pollutants than vehicles on Highway 183 through Cedar Park.

Researchers equipped two vehicles, a small sedan and a large SUV, with specialized monitors. The vehicles went out on both 183 and the 183A toll road.

After comparing the numbers, researchers found cars on the 183A toll road saved fuel and gave off fewer pollutants.

The CTRMA says results suggest an average driver could save 108 gallons of fuel a year, at a current cost savings of approximately $281 by using the toll road instead.

The study also found that vehicles on the toll generally emitted fewer pollutants.

“Nitrogen oxide annual emissions are 56 percent lower; carbon dioxide annual emissions are 28 percent less and total hydrocarbon annual emissions are reduced by 37 percent,” said a CTRMA spokesperson.

The CTRMA says the results suggest that any roadway improvement that reduces stop and go traffic would offer similar benefits.