Traffic planning – Adaptation


With regard to traffic planning, adaptation need is caused by two factors; changes in weather conditions and implementation of greenhouse gas mitigation goals. Adaptation to weather disruptions takes place mainly through policy planning and adjustment.

Extreme weather phenomena a driving force of adaptation measures

Impacts of climate change are emphasised in the long-term planning of the traffic sector. Adaptation to weather disruptions takes place mainly through policy planning and adjustment. Foreseeing the impacts of local weather disruptions and creating practices and alternative routes for these events is of key importance. In addition, catering for the maintenance and functioning of communications in exceptional circumstances will become ever more important in the future. Risk of damage to powerlines due to storms can be decreased by underground cabling, widening line corridors and moving overhead lines from the forest next to roads. This also speeds up repair of possible damage.

Traffic networks and other infrastructure face similar challenges

Municipal offices face the same challenges in planning a traffic network as in planning land use. In these, flood risk and soil bearing problems are prominent. By using adequate pumping stations, for example, critical locations – such as underpasses – should be protected from floods already during the construction phase. At its best, the entire street network can be planned to lead extra stormwater to safe areas, such as green areas.

Weather disruptions affecting the rail maintenance include erosion of the railway embankments, drifting of snow, depressions and disturbances in electrical equipment. Impacts include traffic disturbances and additional maintenance costs.

Possibilities for pedestrian and bicycle traffic must be secured in all circumstances

Sustainable traffic planning should support the goals of condensing and consolidation of the urban structure and the built environment. While taking the changing conditions into consideration, the public transportation and bicycle and pedestrian traffic supported by railway traffic should be developed to a more user-friendly direction.

As long as the maintenance of the roads is attended to, the prolonged snow-free season and warming winters enable continuing the cycling season until further in the autumn. In addition, municipalities can support bicycle and pedestrian traffic by providing storage facilities and shelters for bicycles. The costs from these in connection to public transportation stations could be shared by the municipality and, for example, the Finnish Transport Agency.

References [1], [2], [3]