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Impact of COVID-19 on Pedestrian Behavior, Road Safety and Sustainable Transportation

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 19617

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Civil and Infrastructure Engineering Discipline, School of Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne 3001, Australia
Interests: driving behavior modelling and analysis; transport infrastructure maintenance planning and management; road freight management; transport network modelling and simulation; traffic safety studies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Supply Chain and Logistics, RMIT University, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
Interests: telecommute; commute choices; transport planning; transport economics; transport policy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted different aspects of life, including transport. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the emphasis has shifted from moving passengers to operating the transportation system in order to ensure that the freight system performs well and key essential workers can travel. This sudden change impacted the sources of revenue for transport operators. Meanwhile, transport organizations are required to plan to ensure that the transportation systems are ready to provide service after the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns. COVID-19 has direct and indirect impacts on travel behavior, transport demand, and choice of transport mode.

This Special Issue will highlight the impact of COVID-19 on different aspects of transport during COVID-19 and in post-COVID-19 times. We welcome papers on:

  • Travel behavior among different age groups and for different trip purposes;
  • Mobility challenges for users of different transport modes;
  • Mobility preferences (mode and route choice);
  • Demand prediction for different transport modes;
  • Traffic congestion and road safety challenges;
  • Active transport and accessibility attitudes;
  • Mode sharing and different users of transport systems;
  • Application of smart technologies;
  • Challenges in transport systems (e.g., transport infrastructure; transport operation);
  • Transport policies and transport economy.

Dr. Sara Moridpour
Prof. Dr. Richard Tay
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • pedestrians
  • cyclists
  • vulnerable road users
  • traffic safety
  • active transport
  • travel behavior
  • transport mode choice
  • road and rail transport
  • air transport
  • marine transport
  • sustainable transport systems

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 33566 KiB  
Article
An Alternative System for Assessing Pavement Condition in the Event of an Epidemic: A Case of COVID-19
by Amir Shtayat and Sara Moridpour
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 8227; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15108227 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
Maintaining the efficiency of road pavement is essential to achieving the highest road performance and comfort for road users. Pavement monitoring plays a significant role in maintaining the sustainability of road networks. Additionally, assessments have been performed using different equipment and devices or [...] Read more.
Maintaining the efficiency of road pavement is essential to achieving the highest road performance and comfort for road users. Pavement monitoring plays a significant role in maintaining the sustainability of road networks. Additionally, assessments have been performed using different equipment and devices or through visual inspections to determine the type and severity of pavement degradation. However, some obstacles may affect the sustainability of road networks by preventing the regular monitoring and maintenance of pavements, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction and management of transportation systems have been affected by economic shut-downs and imposed social restrictions. Road networks have also suffered from neglect and a lack of monitoring and maintenance due to the government’s lockdowns in addition to strict regulations that limit movement on roads and any form of construction, monitoring, inspection, and evaluation to improve road pavement conditions. This research introduces a safe pavement monitoring system using an e-bike to evaluate and predict pavement degradation. An accelerometer sensor and line-scan camera were used to collect pavement vibration data during the e-bike’s movement. The results of the proposed monitoring method showed reliable evaluation outcomes. Moreover, the SVM model showed a significant contribution to detecting and classifying pavement distress. Full article
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23 pages, 3082 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Impact of COVID-19 on the Behaviour of Pedestrians
by Deborah Paul, Sara Moridpour and Le Andrew Nguyen
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 1874; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15031874 - 18 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has considerably impacted pedestrians’ perceived comfort in a public setting. The virus’s transmissibility and social distancing restrictions have resulted in a shift in pedestrians’ perceived comfort, with more pedestrians becoming more conscious of other pedestrians and the distance between pedestrians. [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has considerably impacted pedestrians’ perceived comfort in a public setting. The virus’s transmissibility and social distancing restrictions have resulted in a shift in pedestrians’ perceived comfort, with more pedestrians becoming more conscious of other pedestrians and the distance between pedestrians. The changes in pedestrians’ perception have resulted in the Pedestrian Level Of Service (PLOS) models becoming outdated. The models may not accurately portray the actual status of pedestrians’ Level Of Service (LOS) according to the pedestrian needs during a pandemic, which generally lasts for a couple of years. These pandemics will happen in the future; hence, their impact on pedestrian comfort on sidewalks is worth considering. This research aims to analyse the effect of COVID-19 on PLOS by compiling data using a face-to-face questionnaire survey in the Melbourne Central Business District (CBD). From the 445 completed surveys, 72% of respondents extensively considered social distancing due to COVID-19 when commuting in the CBD, and 49% preferred a 1–1.5 m distance between pedestrians. In conjunction with an in-depth analysis of the data, an ordinal regression model has been used to analyse the factors that influence the perceived comfort of the pedestrians and estimate the PLOS. The model results show that pedestrian density, COVID-19 social distancing, continuous footpath, and pedestrian flow in opposite directions on the sidewalk greatly impacted the walking comfort of pedestrians during the pandemic. Full article
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22 pages, 2292 KiB  
Article
The Limited Responses of Provincial Expressway Network Operation Quality to the Impact of COVID-19: Taking Shaanxi Province as an Example
by Yongji Ma, Jinliang Xu, Chao Gao, Chenwei Gu and Xiaohui Tong
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710859 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1157
Abstract
Recent research indicates that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted road traffic operation quality. From the perspective of service level, safety level, and operation orderliness, this study attempts to analyze the limited responses of the operation quality of the provincial expressway [...] Read more.
Recent research indicates that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted road traffic operation quality. From the perspective of service level, safety level, and operation orderliness, this study attempts to analyze the limited responses of the operation quality of the provincial expressway network (PEN) to the impact of COVID-19. The traffic operation data of the PEN in Shaanxi Province were collected for three consecutive years (from 2019 to 2021) before and after the COVID-19 outbreak, including weekly average daily traffic, weekly traffic interruption times, weekly traffic control time, weekly traffic accidents, weekly traffic injuries, and weekly traffic deaths. Through descriptive statistics and dynamic analysis, we studied the limited responses of the safety and service levels of the PEN to the impact of COVID-19. An evaluation model of operation orderliness of the PEN was established by using dissipative structure theory and entropy theory. Results show that in 2020, the service level, safety level, and operation orderliness of the PEN dropped to their lowest. With the gradual control of pandemic, its negative impacts on the service level and operation orderliness of the PEN gradually decreased but did not recover to the pre-pandemic level. In terms of the safety level, the number of traffic accidents, traffic injuries, and traffic deaths decreased, whereas the traffic accident rate and accident casualty rate remained high. In summary, the operation quality of the PEN in Shaanxi Province has had a limited response to the impact of COVID-19. Full article
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9 pages, 3962 KiB  
Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Choice of Transport Means in Journeys to Work Based on the Selected Example from Poland
by Wojciech Kazimierz Szczepanek and Maciej Kruszyna
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7619; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137619 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1488
Abstract
In recent years, the problem of overusing cars has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand this problem, we analyzed the results of a survey dedicated to mobility patterns of employees of the Wroclaw University of Sciences and Technology conducted in June [...] Read more.
In recent years, the problem of overusing cars has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand this problem, we analyzed the results of a survey dedicated to mobility patterns of employees of the Wroclaw University of Sciences and Technology conducted in June and July 2021. Consideration was given to the share of different means of transport and their changes in pre-, through and post-COVID-19 periods and factors such as the distance, population and public transport standards specific for various journeys. Overall, we found that the pandemic strongly influenced the choice of transport means. We did not identify any significant influence of the distance or population on the share of transport means between various periods. However, regardless of the period, dependencies between the public transport standards and the share of transport means were evident. Full article
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30 pages, 33585 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Changeability of the Load of the Urban Road Transport System under Permanent and Short-Term Legal and Administrative Retail Restrictions
by Marta Borowska-Stefańska, Michał Kowalski, Paulina Kurzyk, Alireza Sahebgharani and Szymon Wiśniewski
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5137; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095137 - 24 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
In Poland, in 2018, the act on Sunday retail restrictions was introduced, changing citizen’s spatial mobility (altered patterns of transport behaviour related to shopping on a weekly scale). Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic (from 2020) on transport behaviour during this time has had an [...] Read more.
In Poland, in 2018, the act on Sunday retail restrictions was introduced, changing citizen’s spatial mobility (altered patterns of transport behaviour related to shopping on a weekly scale). Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic (from 2020) on transport behaviour during this time has had an impact, since people were encouraged to stay at home and limit their mobility to an absolute minimum. As a result, the main aim of the article was to identify spatiotemporal changeability of the load of the urban road transport system under permanent and short-term legal and administrative retail restrictions and to determine its spatial and temporal nature on the example of Łódź (a big city in central Poland) during 2018–2021. For that purpose, the authors used three types of source data, i.e., official governmental normative data (acts, ordinances, etc.), informative data (official pandemic announcements issued during ministerial press conferences, governmental social media content, etc.), and objective empirical data (induction loops). The pandemic restrictions imposed on top of the existing permanent retail restrictions were shown to distinctly shape the weekly distribution of traffic. In weeks with non-trading Sundays, the percentage of vehicle traffic on weekdays was substantially higher than on weekends, which was particularly noticeable during the first year of the pandemic (2020). Long-term observations have also shown that people began to plan their weekends differently upon the initial implementation of Sunday retail restrictions. Full article
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19 pages, 7773 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Relationship between the Characteristics of the Areas of Influence of Bus Stops and the Decrease in Ridership during COVID-19 Lockdowns
by Yaiza Montero-Lamas, Alfonso Orro, Margarita Novales and Francisco-Alberto Varela-García
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4248; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074248 - 2 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3110
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the characteristics of the areas of influence of bus stops and the decrease in ridership during COVID-19 lockdowns and subsequent initial reopening processes. A novel GIS methodology was developed to determine these characteristics from a [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the characteristics of the areas of influence of bus stops and the decrease in ridership during COVID-19 lockdowns and subsequent initial reopening processes. A novel GIS methodology was developed to determine these characteristics from a large amount of data with high spatial detail and accurately assign them to individual bus stops. After processing the data, several multiple linear regression models were developed to determine the variables related to different activities and changes in mobility during lockdown that may explain the variation in demand owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The characteristics related to population and land use were also studied. The proposed methodology can be used to improve transit planning during exceptional situations, by strengthening public transport in areas with a predictably higher transit demand, instead of uniformly decreasing the availability of public transport services, promoting sustainable mobility. The efficiency of the proposed methodology was shown by performing a case study that analysed the variation in bus demand in A Coruña, Spain. The areas with the highest sustained demand were those with low inhabitant incomes, a high population density, and significant proportions of land use dedicated to hospitals, offices, or supermarkets. Full article
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18 pages, 1049 KiB  
Article
Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Active Travel Mode Choice in Bangladesh: A Study from the Perspective of Sustainability and New Normal Situation
by Niaz Mahmud Zafri, Asif Khan, Shaila Jamal and Bhuiyan Monwar Alam
Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6975; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13126975 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 6592
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused incredible impacts on people’s travel behavior. Recent studies suggest that while the demand for public transport has decreased due to passengers’ inability to maintain physical distance inside this mode, the demand for private automobile and active transport modes [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused incredible impacts on people’s travel behavior. Recent studies suggest that while the demand for public transport has decreased due to passengers’ inability to maintain physical distance inside this mode, the demand for private automobile and active transport modes (walking and cycling) has increased during the pandemic. Policymakers should take this opportunity given by the pandemic and encourage people to use active transport more in the new normal situation to achieve sustainable transportation outcomes. This study explores the expected change in active transport mode usage in the new normal situation in Bangladesh based on the data from a questionnaire survey. The study finds that 56% and 45% of the respondents were expected to increase travel by walking and cycling, respectively, during the new normal situation. On the other hand, 19% of the respondents were expected to do the opposite. The study further identifies the factors influencing the expected change in travel by active transport modes during the new normal situation by developing multinomial logistic regression models. Finally, this study proposes policies to increase active transport use beyond the pandemic and ensure sustainable mobility for city dwellers and their well-being. Full article
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