Document Type : ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE

Authors

1 Energy and Environment for Sustainable Development Research and Training Center, Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand

2 Environmental Engineering and Disaster Management Program, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Mahidol University Kanchanaburi Campus, Lumsum Sub-District, Saiyok District, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Cycling has been widely promoted as an alternative mode of transport to help the reduction of environmental impact and improve users' health. Promoting cycling will help enhance the "Green City" initiative in Thailand. While several studies have addressed social issues of cyclists, the environmental impacts and economic viability of cycling infrastructure are yet unknown. Quantifying its environmental impact and the costing aspect are essential to prove that cycling would positively affect a city. This study compares the expected environmental and economic impacts before and after constructing a bicycle lane in Mahasarakham, Thailand.
METHODS: This study uses life cycle assessment and life cycle costing to assess a bicycle lane's environmental and economic viability. Life cycle assessment and life cycle costing are tools used to analyze environmental impact and cost during the life cycle of a product or service. The scope of this study covers the processing of raw material acquisition, transportation, construction, use, and disposal. The functional unit set for this study is the use of a bicycle lane for one year. The environmental impact examined is greenhouse gas emissions along the product's life cycle (the so-called "carbon footprint").
FINDING: According to the results, approximately 0.2 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of carbon footprint could have been reduced in 2020 had a bicycle lane been installed. The use phase plays the leading role in reducing carbon footprint. The reduction in environmental impacts is due to reduced fuel consumption by cars and motorcycles when bicycles are used. Even though a low rate (26%) of road users, who participated in this research, were willing to ride bikes had a bicycle lane been provided, a considerable amount of environmental impact could still have been reduced.
CONCLUSION: The carbon footprint expected to be reduced in a year is valued at about 4.7 million baht of carbon credit. In comparison, the life cycle cost of bicycle lanes for one year is approximately 3.7 million baht. Furthermore, it is anticipated that had a bicycle lane been installed since 2015, the city would have reduced overall carbon footprint emissions by more than 1.15 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020. Therefore, the results of environmental impact and cost assessment from this study are helpful for urban environmental management. 

Graphical Abstract

Carbon footprint and cost analysis of a bicycle lane in a municipality

Highlights

  • Bicycle lane can help lessen carbon footprint for the municipality by 0.2 Mt CO2eq yearly;
  • The use phase of bicycle lane plays the leading role in reducing GHGs;
  • If built since 2015, more than 1.15 Mt CO2eq overall GHGs could be reduced by 2020;
  • Carbon credit gained by having a bicycle lane is about 4.7 MB, while life cycle cost is approximately 3.7 MB.

Keywords

Main Subjects

Open Access

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Publisher’s Note

GJESM Publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional afflictions.

Citation Metrics & Captures

Google Scholar Scopus Web of Science PlumX Metrics Altmetrics Mendeley |

Letters to Editor

GJESM Journal welcomes letters to the editor for the post-publication discussions and corrections which allows debate post publication on its site, through the Letters to Editor. Letters pertaining to manuscript published in GJESM should be sent to the editorial office of GJESM within three months of either online publication or before printed publication, except for critiques of original research. Following points are to be considering before sending the letters (comments) to the editor.

[1] Letters that include statements of statistics, facts, research, or theories should include appropriate references, although more than three are discouraged.
[2] Letters that are personal attacks on an author rather than thoughtful criticism of the author’s ideas will not be considered for publication.
[3] Letters can be no more than 300 words in length.
[4] Letter writers should include a statement at the beginning of the letter stating that it is being submitted either for publication or not.
[5] Anonymous letters will not be considered.
[6] Letter writers must include their city and state of residence or work.
[7] Letters will be edited for clarity and length.

CAPTCHA Image